Good coffee news from the Philippines: The Cordillera Administrative Regional (CAR) office the USDA Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE) Activity is collaborating with Philippine Nazarene College (PNC) and the Gintong Aral Skills Development Academy Inc. (GASDA). Together, they are developing learning modules for the Farm-to-Cup (F2C) coffee education and diploma program.

The F2C program aims to increase the participation of young farmers in coffee production. This is in support of the Philippine coffee industry road map, which aims to enhance the country’s coffee production and its supply chain. In September 2020, Christine Abellon, PhilCAFE regional coordinator, started the initial discussion and the drafting of agreement between parties.

Program to Train 300 Farmers in Coffee Production

As a result of this collaboration, PNC, GASDA, and the PhilCAFE project will develop two pilot learning modules to facilitate formal education in nursery development and coffee farm production and management. Once completed, the modules will be submitted for approval by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and will be used for the F2C program. TESDA will offer some scholarships to interested students. The program will target at least 300 participants in the next two years, 70 percent of whom are youth, half male, half female. 

The programs will offer a coffee education and diploma course for young farmers and entrepreneurs in the Benguet Province on the island of Luzon. PNC owns a four-hectare property in La Trinidad, where the school is also located. The site will house the F2C program along with the coffee nursery, the proposed three-hectare coffee farm, and the training venue.

In the initial agreement, a backyard-type nursery with a 5,000-coffee seedling capacity will be established for educational purposes. The plan is for the nursery to become a source of quality Arabica seedlings in Benguet once approved and certified by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), the government agency attached to the Department of Agriculture responsible for supporting the country’s plant industry sector.

PhilCAFE to Provide Technical Assistance

The PhilCAFE team has agreed to provide technical assistance in the training of teachers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in coffee production and to support anticipated activities such as coffee farm development, training of trainers (ToT), and assistance to coffee nursery establishment, among other activities. The F2C modules will be co-authored by PNC, GASDA, and ACDI/VOCA through the PhilCAFE project.

A Memorandum of Agreement or Understanding was signed with PNC and GASDA on October 13, 2020, to formalize the tripartite agreement. A Training of Trainers session on green bean grading and basic sensory analysis will also be conducted this month.

Basic sensory analysis helps to determine how aromas and flavors are perceived. It involves the measurement and evaluation of sensory properties of coffee such as determining basic acidity, the nature of different acids, and their probable interactions on coffee. The PhilCAFE team and TESDA will conduct pilot trainings on GAP in coffee production for local government officials and staff municipal agriculture offices in support of the F2C education and diploma program.

Learn more about PhilCAFE here.

Learn more about our work in the Philippines here.