When Benguet State University (BSU) started an Arabica coffee extension program to further educate and train farmers and other stakeholders in the Cordilleras, it did not foresee that it would eventually evolve into a formal seed-to-cup quality coffee education program. Professor Valentino Macanes, BSU’s Director of Institute of Highland Farming Systems and Agroforestry (IHFSA), was responsible for continuing and enhancing this program.
Today, BSU has developed a package for technology for Arabica coffee from seed to cup, complete with its own technology demonstration farm on Arabica coffee production with post-harvest processing facilities.
“The Arabica coffee techno-demo farm of BSU started by Professor Dimas in 1977 as a special agroforestry demo-farm. He conducted initial experiments on plantings of Arabica coffee seedlings under the Benguet Pine using various planting distance, hole depth and fertilization. He was able to develop a technology of planting Arabica coffee under the Benguet Pine forest, which is a recognized breakthrough in coffee production. This was further refined through scientific data and researches,” Macanes revealed.
He elaborated on BSU’s role in coffee education. “The trainings on coffee education are conducted for farmers, extension workers, students, and other stakeholders of both government and private institutions. BSU is an education and training provider. Oftentimes, BSU is requested by both government and non-government agencies to be the resource person or trainor.”
Indeed, Macanes believes that the unified support of the government, NGOs, private sectors, and individuals for coffee education in the Philippines is vital for the realization and sustainability of the Philippine coffee industry.