Stakeholders met Friday at the O Hotel in Bacolod City, to set the direction of the coffee industry in Negros Occidental, Engiemar Tupas, of the Department of Trade and Industry provincial office, said.
Coffee growers, buyers, shop owners and representatives from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and the Provincial Environmental Management Office attended the meeting.
Tupas said coffee is one of the priority industries identified by DTI, in coordination with other government agencies.
“If we develop the coffee industry in the province, we will also be contributing to its development in the country as a whole,” Tupas said. It will provide employment generation, investment generation and other benefits, he added.
The meeting is just the first for the year, Tupas said, there will be provincial activities to be implemented in 2016.
The development of the coffee industry is in coordination with the PLDT-Smart SME Nation that assists in the small and medium enterprises development, Tupas said.
“Issues and concerns were raised during the meeting so that we can act on them,” he said.
He said coffee industry-related activities conducted in 2015 were also presented during the meeting and stakeholders presented the output from last year's strategic planning for them to comment on and validate, he added.
Incoming identified activities are GAP and branding seminars, Coffee 101, and orientation on certifying the origin of coffee.
New additional activities may also be implemented, he added.
Representatives of Integrated Social Forestry Federation from Don Salvador, La Castellana, Murcia and Isabela towns also attended the meeting.*KBC
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