It’s official! The Philippines and Indonesia have signed an agreement intended to upgrade the skills of Filipino coffee farmers. According to the industry office, this partnership is also in line to boost one’s productivity.
Pacita U. Juan, the President of the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. released a statement that the training to be provided targets to contribute to various government-related programs envisioned to improve the product quality, productivity and even the profitability of the country’s coffee farms. This can be achieved through a competitive and sustainable value chain starting from farming to manufacturing.
This partnership is called the Coffee Farmers’ Training Giant which is a joint project of several governing bodies such as the Department of Agriculture (DA), PT Mayora Indah Tbk, the PCBI, and the Embassy of Indonesia here in the Philippines. Stipulated in this partnership is the provision of training and programs which will be conducted for both countries. Coffee farmers from Quezon, Bukidnon, Benguet, Sultan Kudarat, regions of Negros, Ilocos, and Davao are included in this project.
Also, Ms. Juan is being hopeful as she has seen the potential of further generating revenue for those smallholder coffee farmers in the given provinces as they already planted Arabica, Liberica, Excelsa, and Robusta coffee beans. Through supporting such livelihood, it will surely sustain the quality of production. This project is expected to help reboot the country’s coffee industry by providing an educational grant. With this, coffee farmers will be equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge, and mentality needed to achieve the most economic benefit from their produce.
For now, exactly ten coffee farmers were pre-selected for the training grant. They own at least a hectare of land and producing an average of one metric ton (MT) of coffee yearly.
Sinyo Harry Sarundajang added that one of the reasons for this partnership is to further increase the production of the coffee beans here in the Philippines that in the long run contribute to the development of the coffee industry as a whole. Like Ms. Juan, the Indonesian Ambassador is also being optimistic about these programs as this will be a good start and a stepping stone that will open countless opportunities for both nations and even gain mutual benefit.
As per the data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the coffee productions here in the Philippines fell from 0.4% to 5,790 MT in the third quarter. The country’s top producer was the Davao region which was able to produce 34.6% of the total production. South Cotabato ranked 2nd followed by Cotabato City, Cotabato Province, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City (SOCCSKSARGEN). It accounted for 25.1% and the remaining 14.2% for Caraga.
Here in the Philippines, Robusta accounted for almost 65.7%, making it the top variety of coffee to be produced. Arabica falls on the next spot which is 26.8% and 6.6% for Excelsa. Lastly, the production of Liberica only accounted for 0.9% of the total coffee being produced locally.