As the 3rd Philippine Coffee Conference (PCC 3) commenced, Department of Agriculture Regional Executive Director Narciso Edillo of the Cordillera Administrative Region has high hopes that farmers will catch on the vision proposed by the coffee stakeholders in making coffee a regional commodity champion.

This year, about 80 % of our coffee requirement is imported and the demand and supply for coffee in the global market is also huge, said Edillo.

According to Edillo, the conduct of the conference is timely to discuss how to promote and sell the great tasting and flavorful coffee products of the country to satisfy the increasing demand, “in a manner that benefits the farmers and the nation as a whole.”

Edillo hoped that the Cordillera Administrative Region learned new ways on how to promote coffee as an alternative crop to the cash crops grown by farmers, and/ or how to encourage farmers and our partners to maximize and transform their small farms and thus, expand the region’s current coffee production areas and harvests of coffee beans.

In pursuance to the objectives of the Cordillera coffee roadmap, the DA-CAR has not only pursued activities like production, rehabilitation and distribution of coffee seedlings, construction of postharvest facilities, among others. Under its multi-million Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), livelihood projects and rural infrastructures like farm-to-market road are tied-up with the promotion and enhancement of coffee production and marketing.

With the potential of the aromatic Arabica coffee as a livelihood and cash crop, including its environmental contributions and benefits as an agricultural crop, Edillo was very glad that Oliver Oliem of the Atok Arabica Coffee Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (ACOGMAC) was awarded as Champion for the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition for Arabica category which was the highlight of the PCC 3.

Aside from Oliver Oliem, Restie Lebie Tacio of Atok and Belen Macanes of Kibungan were also awarded 3rd and 5th, respectively under the Arabica Category.

RED Edillo wished that Cordillera will also grab the award as champion in the next Philippine Coffee Quality Competition for Robusta.

The PCC 3 was able to gather about 700 participants from around the country representing Local Government Units (LGU), coffee farmers, coffee processors, the Philippine Coffee Council members, and others that includes the academe and regional line agencies, among others last March 20-21, 2018 at the Hotel Supreme, Baguio City.// Karen T. Gawigawen