The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Region 6 Cacao and Coffee Industry Clusters held a two-day blended meeting. With both limited face-to-face and online conferences, the goal was to revisit the mission, vision, goals, and strategies identified in these particular industry’s roadmaps, including the action plan for 2021-2022.

The review and updating of the Regional Cacao and Coffee Roadmaps were conducted at the DTI-Region 6 Audio-Visual Room and at The Venue in Smallville Complex on 20-21 May 2021, respectively. DTI-Region 6 Regional Director Rebecca M. Rascon said that the activity would firm up the commitment of industry organizations, national government agencies, and other stakeholders towards the implementation of these particular industry roadmaps.

The participants discussed and identified the major bottlenecks in the coffee and cacao industries that need to be addressed, which include beans quality, market, and accredited nurseries. Accordingly, the participants opined that there is a market for these raw produce but the quality does not meet the market demand. The two industry cluster groups sought for the conduct of more trainings, especially on post-harvest processing and handling. Also, the nursery accreditation is another challenge. The group suggested to have the seedlings sourced from the region to ensure its better survival.

At present, seedlings are sourced outside the region, mostly from Davao (cacao and coffee) and Mindoro (cacao). As a result, there is a high mortality rate of seedlings during distribution. So far, there is only one accredited nursery in the region, Orchard Valley, located in Pavia, Iloilo. By July 2021, the nursery shall turnover the planting materials to the Department of Agriculture (DA) for distribution. These include a total of 19,000 coffee seedlings and 19,000 cacao seedlings.

Francis Gentoral, Executive Director of the Iloilo Economic Development (ILED) Foundation Inc., facilitated the activity drawing outputs from the participants for a fruitful review and updating of these regional roadmaps. DTI-Region 6 Coffee and Cacao Regional Industry Cluster Head, DTI-Negros Occidental OIC-Provincial Director Rachel N. Nufable, Regional Cacao Council Chair Buen S. Mondejar, and Regional Coffee Council Chair Johnny Que, among others attended the activities. ♦

Date of Release: 25 May 2021