Coffee, passion fruit farms eyed in La Trinidad communal forest

THE Municipal Council of La Trinidad, Benguet is looking to pass a resolution establishing a coffee and passion fruit farm within the Puguis communal forest.

Proposed by Councilor Arthur Shontogan, the resolution is asking the help of his fellow aldermen to support the municipality’s request to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to allot at least 10 hectares of land for the project.

Shontogan, who is a member of the Committee on Agriculture, said the resolution aims to boost the coffee and passion fruit production in the capital town.

“We are making this resolution addressed to the DENR so that we can get permission to set up farm areas in the communal forest that the municipality have. If approved, this will help in the production of coffee which is naturally grown in the Valley,” Shontogan said.

The proposal sees the need to double or triple the production of coffee after the Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera constructed the first ever shared service facility project for Arabica coffee post-harvest processing and cupping laboratory in Benguet.

“We might as well take the advantage that we have access to this facility, however the production of coffee here in the Valley is not enough to supply the processing center,” Shontogan added.

Apart from adding to the coffee production of the municipality, the farm also aims to benefit local farmers through an environment-friendly approach.

On the other hand, passion fruit being a low-maintenance and seasonal produce could help extend the market for the local farmers.

Meanwhile, the local council advised the request to the DENR-Cordillera must include not only 10 hectares of land but also the whole of the communal forest if possible.

The Council said if granted, the use and monitoring of good agricultural practice will be at the same time implemented.

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