By Chit Juan, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Call them heirloom varieties just like “old world” wine.
Coffee in the Benguet, Mountain Province and Ifugao are some of the best Arabica coffee strains.
Many coffee enthusiasts have cornered the markets in the Cordillera and most of the coffee are “spoken for” even before harvest starts around November of every year.
The coffee stakeholders have been conducting meetings and seminars to address the lack of supply of Arabica from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). Many farmers have gone into nursery establishment and seedling production to address the lack of certified seeds and the existence of “wildlings” as planting materials.
Last July 5 and 6, Benguet State University in La Trinidad, Benguet province was the site of a coffee fiesta where stakeholders shared best practices and encouraged the continued propagation of Arabica coffee as well as Robusta coffee from Kalinga and other lower elevations of the mountain range.
The DTI-CAR has also initiated coffee roasting and cupping seminars to allow farmers to add value to their produce. The first pilot seminar was conducted by the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. (PCBI) directors Manny Torrejon and Chit Juan in Tabuk City, Kalinga last June 20-22.