PHP4-M coffee processing, cupping lab opens in Benguet

LA TRINIDAD – The Cordillera region will soon have its own shared service facility (SSF) for Arabica coffee Postharvest Processing and Cupping Laboratory at the Benguet State University (BSU) to continue research on the coffee variety grown in the region.

This was learned on Tuesday from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which is a joint project between the university and the government agency and which cost PHP4.048 million to set up.

According to DTI Regional Operations Group supervising Usec. Zenaida Maglaya, the SSF will be “a big boost not only to the coffee industry but to coffee farmers as well.”

“We have partnered with the Benguet State University to lift the coffee industry, especially the Arabica Coffee. As we all know, Arabica coffee is one of the ten high value crops in the Cordillera Administrative Region and is recognized to be of excellent quality by the Coffee Foundation Institute of the Philippines,” Maglaya added.

Located at the BSU, the Coffee Postharvest Processing and Cupping Laboratory is expected to continue research and extension services of the University to coffee farmers; improve the quality of Arabica coffee products in the Cordillera; enhance income coffee farmers and processors with quality Arabica coffee products; and eventually create alternative job opportunities for coffee farmers and their families.

“The facility is also expected to improve postharvest processing methods of Arabica coffee in the production of quality coffee products; provide excellent service to coffee producers and processors; establish quality protocol in the production, postharvest processing, packaging and marketing of coffee products; and disseminate developed technologies on quality production, postharvest processing; and packaging to coffee farmers, processors and other stakeholders,” Maglaya said.

Under the agreement with DTI-CAR, the Benguet State University (BSU) will be the laboratory’s cooperator, who will manage and technically assist the facility while DTI-CAR Regional Office will regularly conduct monitoring and evaluation on site to ensure efficiency of service.

The DTI identified BSU as cooperator for its active research, extension, instruction and production of organically grown Arabica coffee.

Initially, the facility shall serve as a coffee laboratory and will later become a service center for coffee postharvest processing in order to attain its objectives.

The use of the facility shall be free on the first year of operation and minimal service fees shall be collected on succeeding years. PNA/Sam Bautista/STRINGER/