In a concerted effort to bolster the coffee and rattan industries, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Isabela embarked on a significant initiative by conducting a visit to Jones, Isabela on February 22, 2024. The aim was to assess the potential of the municipality in two key sectors: rattan weaving and the coffee industry.

STIDS Maria Corazon Mamuri spearheaded the exploration, engaging with local rattan weavers to evaluate their craftsmanship, techniques, and market potential. Led by Barangay Captain Hon. Rosa Cabungcal, the weavers shared insights into the challenges they face, underscoring the importance of support and initiatives for artisanal communities.

In addition to rattan weaving, the DTI team, in collaboration with Kape Ilocano and TIDS Jillean Flores, delved into the coffee industry of Jones, Isabela. They discovered a rich tapestry of coffee varieties, offering a unique and flavorful experience for enthusiasts. Discussions centered around training opportunities, market linkages, and quality improvement initiatives to bolster the competitiveness of Jones’ coffee in the market.

Assisting the DTI Isabela team was Negosyo Center Jones Junior Business Counselor Jezreel Ramos, whose support was instrumental in facilitating the visit and fostering collaboration among stakeholders.

The DTI Isabela’s foray into Jones for the rattan weaving and coffee industries underscores a commitment to unlocking the potential of these sectors for sustainable growth and prosperity. By harnessing local expertise, empowering artisans and farmers, and fostering collaboration, the initiative aims to pave the way for a vibrant and thriving industry that honors heritage, empowers communities, and captivates markets both locally and potentially globally.

This visit marks a pivotal step towards leveraging the rich cultural and economic heritage of Jones, Isabela, in driving inclusive and sustainable development for its people and the region at large. ♦

Date of release: 24 February 2024