LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, April 27 (PIA)--The province of Benguet is known for its highland vegetables and strawberries but its coffee product is also fast gaining recogni tion.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary JV Arcena in the Network Briefing News program today told Governor Melchor Diclas that in Benguet coffee was featured in one of Qatar's specialty coffee shops.
As cited by Arcena, the coffee shop owner impressed that "The coffee beans can compete with the international beans that you can identify. These beans are from high elevation areas which play an important key to a high quality bean product."
Diclas confirmed that Benguet has a thriving coffee industry particularly the Arabica variety that thrives best in high altitude places. The Benguet Arabica coffee is popular for its being more aromatic and flavorful.
The Benguet-grown Arabica coffee was chosen as the best Arabica coffee in the country during the 3rd Philippine Coffee Conference three years ago.
"Yung coffee industry po nating ito, isa itong inaalagahan ng mga taga-Benguet, alam po nating maswerte po tayo kasi mataas ang elevation dito kaya masarap po yung kape natin, yung Arabica coffee," he said.
The upland municipalities of Atok, Itogon, La Trinidad, Tuba, Kibungan, and Tublay are producing the Arabica coffee which has distinct taste and quality, and the government is helping the coffee farmers to grow their coffee until it is ready to be brewed , the Governor said.
He assured that the local government extends its continuous support to the province's coffee industry so that there will be more production.
Meanwhile, Diclas said the provincial government is continuously pushing for rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads (FMRs) and provincial roads to provide easy access in the transport of produce especially highland vegetables from the farms to the markets.
The province tagged as the "Salad Bowl of the Philippines" records one million tons of semi-temperate vegetables during its peak production and supplies 80 percent of the country's needs.
He hopes that the Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces will be a continuing project for road repair, rehabilitation, and improvement.(JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)