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Coffee farmers from Murcia get Robusta ‘fine’ grade in contest

The selective harvesting or handpicking method is applied by Minoyan Murcia Marginal Coffee Growers in Murcia, Negros Occidental, and is one of the effective management practices to produce good quality coffee beans*

The Minoyan Murcia Marginal Coffee Growers Inc. and Tongo Integrated Farmers Association, both from Negros Occidental, and the Bulalacao Calu-oy-Tula-Tula Sikap Organization in Antique, earned “fine” Robusta coffee grades in the recent 2021 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition.

A “fine” coffee grade indicates that the green coffee beans (GCB) were void of primary defects and have no more than five secondary spots, a press release from the Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas said.

The M3CG has been joining coffee cupping competitions in the last three years and forged ahead as a specialty grade in this year’s match. Antique’s entry was graded “premium” the previous year and climbed to the “fine” quality.

“The result of the PCQC is an affirmation that, indeed, we can produce fine Robusta if we follow the right protocol in pre and post harvest processing of coffee,” M3CG board of director, Teddy Cañete, said.

He added that the accomplishment served as an encouragement to fellow coffee farmers in the locality to go into quality coffee production. The M3CG members also committed to observe proper practices to participate in future competitions.

Cañete said he hopes for a continuing education for M3CG members on good agricultural practices, and the acquisition of a centralized coffee processing facility, quality hulling machine, and moisture meter testing kit, among others, to enhance the quality of their coffee.

The M3CG is one of the established coffee producers in the region that the DA granted with high-quality coffee seedlings, post-harvest facilities, and equipment to scale up its coffee quality.

Meanwhile, Carmen’s Brew of Himamaylan City, also in Negros Occidental, is a novice in the match yet successfully grabbed the high-grade standard, the press release said.

DA-HVCDP coffee coordinator Jairus Sirue said achieving this performance is a notable milestone in the region’s coffee industry.

With this, the farmers can expand their market chains and direct the price of their specialty-grade coffee beans, he added.

“This accomplishment is attributed to improved practices, such as selective harvesting and proper post-harvest drying methods de-hulling, and sorting of coffee beans employed by our coffee growers,” Sirue said in the press release.

The DA 6 has intensively held technology trainings on sustainable coffee production to improve the knowledge of farmers on proper cultural management and processing practices.

It submitted eight entries to the coffee quality competition, through the Department of Trade and Industry.

In Iloilo province, four coffee producers from Calinog, Igbaras, Lambunao, and Barotac Viejo also submitted entries to the contest.

Igbaras obtained a “premium” grade during the competition, that means the GCB contains not higher than eight combined primary and secondary defects, the press release said.

PCQC is an annual event to recognize high-grade specialty coffee in the country. It is a convergence undertaking of government and private sectors, composed of the DTI, DA, Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance, and the Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia Inc., the press release added.*

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