THERE is a big market for the Arabica coffee grown in the Cordillera.
Coffee growers, nursery operators and other industry stakeholders in the region were given this assurance during an investment clinic on Arabica coffee last week.
Joan Bacbac of the Department of Agriculture’s office in Cordillera, said there is a demand next year for 633,000 coffee seedlings, but the supply must come from nurseries accredited by the Bureau of Plant Industry.
The Bureau of Plant Industry’s (BPI) Supervising Agriculturist in Baguio, Juliet Ochasan, said there are only three farms in the region with accredited nurseries: the Ambuklao Coffee Growers Association in Bokod, Trentwood in Tuba and Maknat in Puguis, La Trinidad, all in Benguet.
One is on the pipeline while about five coffee growers groups intend to have their coffee nurseries certified, Ochasan said.
She stressed that the seedlings must be registered with the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) so the BPI origin could determine the area where they were grown.
There are three strains of Arabica registered with the NSIC: Red Bourbon, Yellow Bourbon, and Caturra.
Citing the opportunities for the Cordillera coffee growers, Philippine Coffee Alliance (PCA) President Alvira Reyes said the soluble coffee production is a P30 billion business yet the country still imports 60 percent of coffee for local consumption.
The PCA has established partnership with 45 facilities nationwide to buy coffee beans at a higher price, and it is encouraging farmers to become entrepreneurs and diversify into value-adding ventures.
Patricio Ananayo, former Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance division chief of the agriculture department, said that interest in coffee growing has been rekindled with the entry of PCA.
Ananayo said the alliance has helped boost the confidence of coffee growers. (SA)