/ 4 July 2021

COFFEE farmers in Bukidnon have started their free training on Coffee Production Level II at the Bukidnon Integrated Coffee Center in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City.

The program was the outcome of the partnership signed last May by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Nestlè Philippines.

Under the agreement, TESDA will train the beneficiaries of Nestlé Philippines initially in Bukidnon and the Province of Sultan Kudarat where 80 percent of the country’s coffee is grown.

TESDA-Bukidnon announced that out of 50 scholars, 25 individuals belonging to the first batch are coffee growers and coffee farm workers from Maramag town, while the other 25 individuals are from Lantapan town. They are the first two batches for the training program.

One of the program beneficiaries is Leo Zambrano, a coffee farmer from Barangay Kaatuan in the town of Lantapan who is known as the Nescafé Plan Coffee Ambassador and whose face can be seen on Nescafé packs.

The first batch of scholars started their virtual training on June 24, 2021. The second batch followed on July 1, 2021.

The 25-day training teaches them about modern coffee growing and entrepreneurship.

The training program allotted 200 scholarship slots in Bukidnon this year. Six more batches to be identified by Nestlé Philippines will be accommodated.

TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña expressed hope that the scholarship program will reach more coffee farmers in the country.

“This is why TESDA and Nestlé Philippines are joining hands to carry out the coffee production project. By upskilling the workers and trainers in coffee production, we will enable the farmers and indigenous people to produce quality coffee beans that are at par with the standards of Nestlé,” he said.