Ilocos Norte eyes to develop more coffee plantations

The rich aroma of coffee produced in this northern part of Luzon excites Ilocano farmers and coffee lovers here as they look forward to growing their own and sipping their own at the comfort of their homes.

Through a public and private partnership agreement, the province of Ilocos Norte is eyeing to develop and expand more coffee plantations in the towns of Pagudpud, Bangui, Dingras and Solsona.

According to Community Development Officer Estrella Sacro of the Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO), a total of PHP3 million has been allocated this year for the expansion of coffee farming in the province.

“We are currently propagating Robusta coffee seedlings and these will be distributed to our farmer-cooperators in the different towns of Ilocos Norte,” said Sacro in an interview Thursday.

Two years ago, farmers in Pagudpud started to revitalize coffee growing in its lowland and hilly areas in support of the government’s National Greening Program (NGP) and to boost livelihood in the area.

The first batch of coffee seedlings have started to bear fruits and in no time it will be processed and introduced as a home-grown brand of “Kapeng Ilokano”.

Sacro said the development of more coffee farms in the province is seen to boost the local economy amid the existing threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The ENRO is taking the lead in the propagation of more coffee seedlings and this will be distributed to all interested farmers.

In Piddig town, its local government unit also initiated the country’s first and largest national convergence program for coffee with the development of about 1,200 hectares of upland and lowland plantations of high-grade Arabica, Excelsa and Liberica coffee varieties.

The Piddig coffee is now being sold in various trade fairs and exhibits as well as in some commercial establishments.

Source: Philippines News agency

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