SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, Feb 28 (PIA) - - The provincial government of Ilocos Norte aims to expand its coffee plantation to boost production and ensure sustainability of this industry amid the pandemic.
Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc said that the program is one of his priority projects this year to include the coffee processing training.
To date, the provincial government has provided assistance to farmers with over 1,000 hectares of land planted with robusta and arabica coffee located at Barangay Saguigui, Pagudpud town and Barangay Francisco of Dingras town. The coffee plantation will possibly be expanding the coffee plantation in the towns of Solsona, Bangui, and other parts of Pagudpud.
The governor said that the provincial government will partner with the different farmer's cooperatives and the local youth sectors to strengthen the production and processing of the local coffee products in the province.
He said the residents should know the proper technology in the processing of a high-quality coffee product out of the locally-produced raw materials to increase its value when sold in the local and even in the international markets.
To have a sustainable marketing outlet for local coffee products, the governor has also planned to establish a coffee shop in different strategic places in the province.
According to Ilocos Norte's Environment and Natural Resources Officer (ENRO) Estrella Sacro, a total of P3 million has been allocated this year for the expansion of coffee farming in the province.
She said that her office is currently propagating Robusta coffee seedlings for distribution to the farmer-cooperators in the different towns of Ilocos Norte.
Sacro recalled that 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 has started to bear fruits in which the provincial government will assist it the processing and will introduce it as a home-grown brand of coffee called "Kapeng Ilokano".
Considering the high-potential of coffee production in the province due to its climatic condition, the local government unit of Piddig had also initiated the country's first and largest national convergence program for coffee with the development of about 1,600 hectares of upland and lowland plantations of high-grade Arabica, Excelsa and Liberica coffee varieties.
The local products of coffee from Piddig town are now being sold in the various trade fairs and exhibits, and in the local markets. (JCR/FGL, PIA 1)