Thirty-five technical staff from the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Regional Training Centers (RTC), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Regional Offices, and Department of Agriculture - Regional Field Offices (DA-RFO) graduated from the Training of Trainers (TOT) on the Coconut-Coffee Farming System on October 3-7, 2022.
The five-day activity was held at the Amparitas Integrated Nature Farm, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, which showcases the coconut and coffee integrated farming system. As one of the implementing agencies of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP), the ATI conducted the training to enhance the knowledge and skills of the participants, so they will be able to serve effectively and efficiently as trainers of the Coconut-Coffee Farming System.
Among the resource persons at the TOT was Engr. Ramon Barbosa who is a former regional manager at the PCA and the owner of the Amparitas Farm. During the training, he explained that the Philippines is an ideal location to cultivate quality coffee because of its climate. Further, there is continuous growth in the number of young people or “millennials” who consume coffee regularly, hence, the coffee market has been rapidly expanding as well. This means that there is a great potential in investing in the coffee industry that awaits our farmers.
Moreover, the participants of the TOT were also guided by the other resource persons, namely: Mr. Rogelio Olbes, Jr., Surigao del Sur Coffee Development Council Chairperson; Mr. Oscar Modequillo, retired Agriculturist from the PCA; and Mr. Emanuel Ortega, Jr., Farm Manager of the Amparitas Farm. During the lecture sessions, the participants learned the steps and requirements in coffee production such as site selection, soil sampling and analysis, selecting quality planting materials, land preparation, and postharvest practices. Record and bookkeeping, and good manufacturing practices were also discussed to the participants.
Aside from classroom-type lectures, the participants were also able to gain practical experiences through field visits and hands-on activities. “The learnings via lectures were enhanced by the actual field activities in which the resource persons were evidently adept at,” shared by Mr. Laureano Gabuya, Jr. of PCA Region X. Despite the rainy weather, the participants visited the coconut-coffee plantation where they planted seedlings, harvested coffee berries, and practiced coffee plant rejuvenation.
Likewise, they visited the farm’s processing plant where the participants dehulled coffee berries using the dehulling machine; manually identified and sorted dried coffee beans; and roasted and brewed coffee beans.
By the end of the TOT, the participants prepared and submitted their re-entry plans detailing their commitments during the roll-out of their respective regional TOTs in FY 2023.