PH Trade Department backs coffee farmers in Aurora

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BALER, Aurora — The coffee industry in this province has started to revitalize as a result of the interventions being undertaken by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Through the DTI program’s shared service facility (SSF), the Samahang Magkakape sa Lalawigan ng Aurora (SMLA) managed to improve the production and the quality of their coffee.

SUPPORT TO COFFEE FARMERS. Edna Dizon, provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), discusses the bright prospects of the coffee industry in Dipaculao, Aurora on Thursday (August 22, 2019). The DTI provides technical support to local farmers in an effort to boost the production and quality of coffee in Aurora. (Photo by Jason de Asis)

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday, SMLA president Arnold Paluyo said the DTI’s SSF project had opened a way to rejuvenate their slumping industry.

Paluyo said “rough years” made them almost hopeless for the future of the coffee industry.

“But when the DTI offered the SSF project, we knew that it was our awaited chance,” he said.

From almost nothing, Paluyo said they reached something they never thought they could be.

Based on the result of the DTI’s regular monitoring of all the SSFs in the region as of August 1 this year, the SMLA is one of the most successful in terms of coffee production in Central Luzon.

The SMLA, which is composed of 33 coffee farmers mostly from Barangay Diarabasin, Dipacualo, this province, is known for its trade name “Dipaculao Blend”.

They are producing two of the most popular coffee varieties in the world — Arabica and Robusta, and 90 percent of their produce is Robusta.

In a separate interview, DTI-Aurora director Edna Dizon said they work closely with the SMLA for the sustainable growth of the local coffee industry.

“We saw the big potential of the coffee industry in Dipaculao. That is why, we are encouraging our local producers to expand their production and we are more than willing to provide them (with) some support towards sustainable development,” Dizon said.

She said the DTI, through the SSF project, has provided equipment needed to process coffee, amounting to PHP933,800.

These include coffee de-huller machine, coffee bean dryer, coffee bean roaster, and grinding machine, among others.

“We saw the big potential of the coffee industry in Dipaculao. That is why, we are encouraging our local producers to expand their production and we are more than willing to provide them (with) some support towards sustainable development,” Dizon said.

Aside from the SSF, Dizon said the DTI is also providing other assistance, such as promoting and advertising the SMLA’s coffee through social media.

“Our agency continues on providing new ideas and opportunities regarding the industry as well,” she said.

Meanwhile, Paluyo said he is enthusiastic about the idea of providing the town as well as the whole province with the best coffee they can ever have.

He said, “We want to ensure that the town of Dipaculao, as well as the whole province of Aurora will taste the best coffee we ever produce.” (PNA)

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