In the Philippines, “coffee mentors” are lending their expertise to other coffee growers in a bid to improve farming practices. Coffee production has occurred for centuries, and now the country is building a more inclusive, globally competitive coffee industry.

Part of making the industry more competitive is adopting good agricultural practices across the board. That’s where coffee mentors come in. The Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE), a five-year activity funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and led by ACDI/VOCA, is training farmers to become coffee mentors, who can sustainably support other coffee growers throughout the country.

Building the Capacity of Coffee Mentors

From June 8-9, 25 coffee mentors in Bukidnon Province enhanced their skills during a workshop led by the PhilCAFE team. They learned how to identify their strengths and challenges in conducting community-based training services. They also covered topics ranging from farm planning and farm establishment and production to farming as a business, integrated nutrient management, integrated pest and disease management, and proper harvesting and post-harvest handling.

The workshop is part of a series designed by PhilCAFE to assist coffee mentors to continuously enhance their skills and knowledge in the delivery of training and perform better in their local coffee communities.

Sharing Their Knowledge with Hundreds of Farmers

In the month of June alone, coffee mentors trained 395 coffee farmers and industry stakeholders in good agricultural practices. These farmers were spread geographically across the coffee producing regions of Caraga, Davao, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

On September 13, 2022, about 200 coffee mentors from across the Philippines will convene in Davao City for the Coffee Mentor Summit, a gathering of selected coffee mentors to share their best practices, learn from each other, and acknowledge their contribution to the adoption of good agricultural practices. They are being recognized for their unwavering commitment in the delivery of services during the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about PhilCAFE.

Learn more about our work in the Philippines.