Mt. Province coffee backed

Posted on January 12, 2012

PREPARATIONS are under way for implementation of two Science and Technology-based Farm (STBF) projects involving arabica coffee in the Mountain Province, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) said in a statement earlier this month.

Arabica coffee plants thrive in cool climate.

The pilot projects are in the municipalities of Besao and Sagada.

The Mountain Province is considered a natural habitat for arabica coffee with its year-round cool temperature, the statement read.

Arabica is believed to contain less caffeine than many other commercially cultivated coffee species.

In a recent meeting in Sagada among PCARRD staff involved with STBF projects, Concepcion Wangdali, provincial coordinator and manager of the Bontoc Provincial Farmers’ Information and Technology Services center, said arabica coffee is the “one town-one product” of five municipalities in the Mountain Province, namely: Sagada, Besao, Sabangan, Tadian and Bauko.

She added that the Sagada Arabica Coffee Council provides technical support farmers in the province and market outlet for their produce.

Farmers adopted the brand name “Sagada Gold” to signify the crop’s income potential.

In order to sustain production, Sagada even has a municipal ordinance requiring every household to plant at least five coffee trees.

Ms. Wangdali added that the local law also applies to couples who are about to get married. Hence, unless a couple plants the rquired minimum of coffee trees, a marriage license will not be issued.

Sonwright Maddul, director of the Highland Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium, and the consortium’s Techno Gabay team participated in the meeting, together with Norberto Cobaldes, Bontoc coordinator of the Department of Science and Technology, and teams from Sagada and Besao.