The provincial government has formed a Provincial Coffee Council as an initial step to boost the province’s production of high value coffee beans.
The Council, according to local officials, will focus on improving the current planting strategies in order to increase farm yields, as well as to find more land available for planting.
Romeo Biobe Palao, High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) – Provincial Agriculture Coordinator of OPA, said the establishment of the council is mandated by the national government and is intended to serve as a conduit for interventions by the Department of Agriculture.
“Kasi dapat ang bawat probinsya ay mayroon munang Provincial Coffee Council para sa ano mang mga interventions na pwede nating ma-avail sa Department of Agriculture,” he said.
Palao said the province currently has an estimated 576 hectares of coffee plantation, mosty planted with liberica and robusta varieties.
Its current annual yield of 0.17 metric tons, equivalent to 100 kilos per hectare, is considered as well below the national average yield of 500 kilos/hectare.
During the first Provincial Coffee Council Consultative Meeting, members agreed that they should focus on the training and seminars to the coffee growers that will produce a number of production.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Office (PARO), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-PENRO), Western Philippine University (WPU), League of Municipal Agriculturists, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP), Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) are the members of the council and OPA as a secretariat.