238 coffee stakeholders all over the country attended the 5th National Coffee Expo and Annual Project Assessment organized by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) and the Department of Agriculture Region IV-CALABARZON in coordination with the Great Women Project of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) on November 27-29, 2019 at Days Hotel, Tagaytay City, Cavite.
The activity aims to join coffee growers, processors, and Coffee Coordinator/Focal Person in Local Government Units in one venue to learn, share experiences, and showcase their respective coffee products and to assess the various projects implemented by the DA, PhilMech and PCW in boosting coffee productivity.
This 3-day activity was also packed with market matching, coffee farm and processing facility visit, and learning sessions on coffee postharvest technologies.
“Let’s make use of this significant event to bolster our knowledge and improve the quality of our produce. The Philippines may not yet compete against other countries in terms of quantity but I strongly believe that we can compete in terms of unique taste and quality of our coffee”, OIC-Regional Technical Director for Operations Dennis R. Arpia said in his welcome message.
Mr. Romualdo Martinez, PhilMech’s Agricultural Mechanization Division Chief, said that coffee is one of the priority commodities in their Research and Technology Development. Through the years, the PhilMech continuously develops technologies in order to improve the productivity and consistency of the quality of coffee produced by our farmers. He then reaffirmed the commitment of the PhilMech in helping the coffee industry to reach its full potential.
Among the participants were the micro women entrepreneurs assisted by the PCW’s Great Women Project. Deputy Director for Operations of PCW, Dir. Maria Kristine Josefina G. Balmes commended DA CALABARZON for its various Gender and Development activities and PhilMech for being one of its partners in promoting Filipino women’s welfare.
In her message, Undersecretary for High Value Crops and Rural Credit Evelyn G. Laviña emphasized that “Ani and Kita” for our coffee farmers can be achieved by value adding and ensuring that our produce must be of export quality. “The HVCDP constantly listens to our farmers to attune our interventions to stakeholders and so that the (coffee) industry can move in one direction”, she said.
There were five resource persons during the learning session of the expo, to wit, Dr. Novizar Nazir of Andalas University in Indonesia shared the history and the rise of West Sumatra Coffee, Dr. Romualdo Martinez discussed various drying technologies for coffee, Engr. Arlene Joaquin presented the PhilMech’s Moisture Meter, Prof. Richard Cruz of Asian Institute of Management presented different business model innovations approaches in coffee industry, and Dr. Emmanuel Garcia of De La Salle University discussed coffee quality and the importance of grading and sorting. RFL, DA-RAFIS