BONTOC, Mt.Province — A total of 88 farmers from the six major coffee producing municipalities of Bauko, Besao, Bontoc, Sabangan, Sagada and Tadian graduated from the School on Air (SOA) Program on Coffee of the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera.
The graduation ceremony was held at the Multi-purpose Hall in the capital town of Bontoc on Friday, August 5.
The implementation of the SOA was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the DA-Regional Field Office through its Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Section (RAFIS) and its High Value Crops Development Program, the provincial local government of Mountain Province through its Provincial Agriculture Office, and the Municipal Local Government Units within the areas of coverage.
The graduates have successfully complied with and passed the requirements of the SOA course’s quizzes and trivia and have undergone the onsite practicum.
During the graduation ceremony, June Pinayakan of the Provincial Legal Office extended the message of Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr.
He congratulated the graduates and thanked the DA-RFO-CAR for coming up with programs to support the coffee industry in Mountain Province and at the same time, provide employment opportunities for the people of the province.
Bontoc Mayor Jerome Tudlong, Jr. urged the recipients of the program to apply the knowledge they learned to enhance and improve their production methods for better coffee quality.
Meanwhile, Vincent Andawi, manager of the Sagada Arabica Coffee Growers and Processors Organization, was the guest speaker who shared his knowledge, expertise, and experiences in the coffee industry.
He proposed to the other coffee growers and processors in the coffee-growing municipalities to create a coffee council or organization for them to be able to avail of the benefits that can come with it.
During the graduation rites, Dominga Cabatu, provincial agriculturist presented the graduates while RAFIS Chief Aida Pagtan conferred the graduates on behalf of DA-RFO-CAR Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey.
Pagtan said that the SOA program offered topics and practical guides from production to marketing to provide technical expertise from the invited local coffee subject matter specialists to enhance the quality of coffee being produced in the province.
Records of the DA show that coffee is among the most common beverages being consumed in the Cordillera region while specific varieties, particularly the Arabica Coffee, have gained popularity both in the local and global markets due to its quality.