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Sultan Kudarat Province News November 2011

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Nestlé sees huge potential in Mindanao

by Germelina A. Lacorte and Judy Quiros

Inquirer Mindanao


DAVAO City, Philippines—Nestlé Philippines is looking forward to the expansion of more coffee bean farms in the country, particularly in Mindanao. According to Edith de Leon, Nestlé senior vice president, Mindanao’s rich volcanic soil and climate make it one of the ideal sites for coffee bean production in the country. “Mindanao has all the potential for coffee planting, with a large area suited for coffee farming because of its climate and its soil,” De Leon said. But the expansion of more coffee plantations in Mindanao will depend upon investors who are willing to come in, she added. Among Nestlé’s top sources of coffee beans are Sultan Kudarat, Cavite, the Davao region, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley and Caraga. Sultan Kudarat, particularly the towns of Kulaman, Kalamansig and Lebak, produce up to 75 percent of the company’s current needs, she said. Coffee remains one of the country’s “unheralded” cash crops, de Leon said, earning an estimated P5 billion a year. But local coffee producers are unable to meet total domestic demand. The country continues to import between 10,000 and 30,000 tons of coffee each year, De Leon said. “It’s a P1- to P3-billion pie that potential coffee farmers can share,” she said. Of the 64,000 metric tons in annual demand for coffee beans in the domestic market, only about 50 percent, or roughly 30,000 metric tons, are being produced by local farmers. Nestlé, the country’s largest buyer of green coffee beans, buys as much as 80 percent of the entire country’s coffee produce, De Leon said. She said Nestlé was working hard to realize its goal of sourcing 75 percent of its needs from local farmers by 2020. “Just imagine how much it will mean to farmers if they can serve a portion of the P5-billion market for coffee in the country?” she said during the second Philippine Investors’ Coffee forum at the Marco Polo hotel here on Monday.

ITC for oil palm industry organized in Sultan Kudarat

by PIA Press Release



TACURONG CITY, Nov 28 (PIA) -- Stakeholders of the oil palm industry in the Soccsksargen Region have recently organized the Palm Oil Industry Tripartite Council (ITC) that will supervise the directions of one of the fast-growing industries. Under the direction of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) – Sultan Kudarat field office, 33 oil palm stakeholders met with DOLE 12 Regional Director Atty. Ma. Gloria Tango to discuss important matters that affect the palm oil sector. During the meeting, Atty. Tango, emphasized the importance of ITC, particularly in the maintenance of industrial peace as well as in DOLE’s current labor and employment plan. She said, various ITCs have already been organized in the region, including fishing ITC in General Santos City, banana ITC in North Cotabato, and the pineapple ITC in South Cotabato. Recognized as a growing and potentially important industry by the Regional Development Council (RDC), the oil palm industry should have leaders among its stakeholders that will ensure that improvements in the industry as a major contributor in economic development of the region and employment generation are sustained, Tango explained. In response to Director Tango’s challenge, participants decided to elect officers who will lead the ITC. Elected officers of the Oil Palm ITC were: Mr. Gerry Calong of (KIDI), vice chairperson for Management; Mr. Eduardo Gavileno of UKARBEMPCO, vice chairperson for Labor; Ms. Shiela Mae Jamero of Bernardo Farms , secretary ; Mr. Rogelion Tabat of Bagumbayan , Sultan Kudarat, treasurer; Dr. Jerry Marquez of New Isabela, Tacurong City, Auditor; and Mr. Joesine Loyloy of M&S Co., Inc., public relations officer. As in the other ITCs, Director Tango stands as chairman of the ITC. Among issues and concerns of the industry discussed during the meeting were skills and tools enhancement of the harvesters, need for additional mills, conditions of farm to market roads, and proliferation of illegal buyers and nurseries. Officers believe the organization of an ITC will be a strong body to push for support from other agencies such as the Philippine Coconut Authority, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and local government units. In succeeding meetings, the ITC hopes to create their constitution and by-laws, and action plan (MJHoksuan /DOLE SKFO/DEDoguiles/PIA 12)

2 hurt in grenade blast in Sultan Kudarat

by Karen Boncocan

INQUIRER.net



MANILA, Philippines — Two persons were hurt after three unidentified motorcycle-riding suspects lobbed a grenade in front of a school in Sultan Kudarat province Wednesday night, Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., spokesman of the Philippine National Police, said on Thursday. The incident occurred at the gates of Tacurong National Highschool in New Isabela, Tacurong City at around 9:30 p.m. The victims were rushed to Tamondong Hospital for medical treatment, said Cruz. No other details are available as of posting time.

2 rebels killed in Sultan Kudarat clash

by philstar.com



2 rebels killed in Sultan Kudarat clash Home Updated November 22, 2011 02:30 PM 0 comment to this post

MANILA (Xinhua) -- Two members of the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were killed on Monday in a clash between two groups of MILF rebels in Lambayong town, Sultan Kudarat province.

Col. Leo Ferrer, commander of the Army's 601st Brigade, said Tuesday that a long-standing land dispute triggered the fighting between members of the MILF's 106th and 108th Base Command.

The gunfight lasted for four hours. Sampulna Baumol, commander of the 108th Base Command and one of his men were killed during the clash.

"Sampulna and one of his men were reportedly killed and were immediately buried," Ferrer said.

Ferrer said the military did not intervene in the fighting between the two feuding MILF groups because the problem was internal to the MILF, which is negotiating with the government for a peace accord for the past 14 years.

He said the military asked the government's Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities to inform their MILF counterpart "to pacify the warring parties."

November 22 declared as special non-working day in Sultan Kudarat

by Jill Beltran/Sunnex


MANILA — Malacañang has declared November 22 this year as a special non-working day in the province of Sultan Kudarat in celebration of its 38th founding anniversary.

By virtue of Proclamation 281 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on October 27, the Palace declared November 22, which falls on a Tuesday as a special non-working day to give the people of the province the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion.

Sultan Kudarat, located in the southwestern part of the island of Mindanao, was once a part of the former empire province of Cotabato. It was created as a separate province along with Maguindanao and North Cotabato on November 22, l973, by virtue of Presidential Decree 341 signed by former President Ferdinand Marcos.

The name Sultan Kudarat given to the province was derived from a Muslim ruler, the late Sultan Mohammed Dipatuan Kudarat who begun to assert his leadership in the year 1619 and reigned in the Sultanate of Maguindanao from January 1625 to 1671.

Palace: Nov. 22 a special non-working holiday in Sultan Kudarat

by ELR, GMA News


Malacañang has declared November 22 a special non-working day in Sultan Kudarat to allow its residents to mark the province's 38th anniversary.

The declaration was made via Proclamation No. 281 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. last Oct. 27.

"Sultan Kudarat was once a part of the former empire province of Cotabato. It was created as a separate province along with Maguindanao and North Cotabato on November 22, l973 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 341 signed by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos," Malacañang said in a statement.

The province's name Sultan Kudarat was derived from a Muslim ruler, the late Sultan Mohammed Dipatuan Kudarat.

He asserted his leadership in 1619 and reigned over the Sultanate of Maguindanao from January 1625 to 1671.

Present-day Sultan Kudarat is located in the southwestern part of the island of Mindanao.

It is bounded on the north by its sister provinces of Maguindanao and Cotabato; on the south by the provinces of South Cotabato and Sarangani; on the east by Davao del Sur and on the west by Celebes Sea.

MIND DA NEWS: What a Shame

by Patricio P. Diaz


GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 Nov) – In Tuesday’s posting of Luwaran, the MILF official on-line publication, there was a story, “Japan-funded BLMI Center to rise soon”, complete with a picture of a two-story building under construction in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. According to the report: 1. The building is the Training Center for Human Resource Development of the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute. 2. The project is being funded with P9,233,620 which the Embassy of Japan in Manila appropriated last March from its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) for fiscal year 2010. The construction has been going on for months. The Manila media should pick up this Luwaran report, send reporters to the construction site to investigate and get pictures; interview responsible sources at the Japan Embassy, as well as those of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front; then, publish a full story. That will help clear the BLMI controversy fostered by media reports from inaccurate sources. When the Government and MILF peace panels met in Kuala Lumpur last August 22, the Philippine panel chair Marvic Leonen gave MILF panel chair Mohagher Iqbal a check for P5 million for the establishment of the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute. This has been blown out to the proportion of a “scandal” that merited a threat to impeach President Benigno S. Aquino III. Not only some members of the Senate and House of Representatives and opinion writers in national media assailed the Aquino government for the BLMI assistance; some Catholic bishops of the Philippines joined the fray. The controversy became most heated after the October 18 military-MILF encounter in Basilan that killed 19 Special Forces troopers in action. The MILF were suspected of using the P5 million to buy arms. Malacañang and the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Peace Process (OPAPP) have repeatedly explained the facts and relevant circumstances behind the creation of BLMI and the appropriation of the P5-million assistance. Silvestre Afable, former GRP peace panel chair, who negotiated the creation of BMLI in 2006, also explained. Not satisfied or not hearing, the critics have continued besieging the Palace and the OPAPP with demands to fully explain. The silence now does not mean closure of the issue. From the official explanations, BLMI will do a lot in developing Moro human resources to eventually contribute to lasting peace and progress in Mindanao. From the point of view of the on-going peace negotiation between the Philippine Government and MILF, it is a vital piece in the implementation of the “Humanitarian Aspect” of the June 22, 2001 Tripoli Agreement of Peace the “Implementing Guidelines” of which, signed on May 7, 2002, created the Bangsamoro Development Authority (BDA). Paragraph 2 of this “Aspect” states: “The MILF shall determine, lead and manage rehabilitation and development projects in conflict-affected areas, except when public funds are involved, in which case Government procedures and rules will be observed.” To properly do the task, the Moro human resources have to be developed. BDA has been created and functioning with foreign funding support. It is manned by Moro professionals. As its activities expand, it will need more trained Moro personnel. Hence, as envisioned, BLMI is the answer to the need. Critics and political leaders in Manila, especially those in Congress, should take note of these: First, the Moro leaders spearheading development in conflict-affected areas through BDA are not card-bearing MILF; the development is not for MILF members but for the entire Moro people. So will BMLI be. [As s significant footnote, only the chair of the MILF peace panel is card-bearing MILF; the others are Bangsamoro leaders truly committed to the Bangsamoro cause. More like them are involved in the MILF-led peace process. This answers the critics’ question: Do the MILF represent the Bangsamoro people?] Second, foreign governments and the United Nations have taken cognizance through their international development agencies of human and economic development of the Moros as a vital cog in the peace process in Mindanao. They have poured millions of dollars to help the Moros and the Philippine Government realize this end. Japan and the Asia Foundation have assisted in the take-off of BLMI. Third, the pursuance of the “Rehabilitation Aspect” of the 2001 Tripoli Agreement of Peace through BDA is a challenge to MILF and other Moro leaders to prove that they are capable of developing themselves and the natural resources they are demanding under the political settlement they are seeking – the grant of state-sub-state autonomy. Foreign governments, including United Nations agencies, are helping them in their quest. Fourth, officials of foreign embassies and aid agencies visit the MILF headquarters in Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao to coordinate with MILF leaders in helping push forward the human and economic development aspect of the peace process – a most eloquent pitch against the continuance of armed rebellion. Isn’t it a shame that while foreign governments, the United Nations and their aid agencies have been helping the Philippine Government win peace in Mindanao through the human and economic development of the Moros, many critics and political leaders destroy the bridge of good will and confidence that Government and MILF have built painstakingly between them? Isn’t it a shame that while Japan has invested more than P9 million for the construction of the BLMI Human Resource Center – and together with other international agencies will surely invest more to equip the Center – many critics and political leaders see treason in the P5 million that the Aquino government has released to help set up BLMI? What a shame, indeed!!!

Gov't midwife slain in SK town

by (PNA)

DCT/FFC/nyp/MCM/mec


KIDAPAWAN CITY, Nov. 15 (PNA) -- Gunmen shot dead a 25-year old barangay midwife in Bagumbayan town in Sultan Kudarat province while on the way to her assignment at Barangay Monteverde onboard a motorcycle, around 10 a.m., Sunday, a police official said.

Killed was Elvira Iligan, midwife of Barangay Monteverde in Bagumbayan town, who sustained multiple gunshots on the back which caused her instant death, according to Chief Inspector Junie Buenacosa, chief of Bagumbayan Police.

The driver of the motorcycle identified as Felix Voltaire Tan was hit by stray bullet and is in critical condition, Buenacosa said.

Authorities recovered from the crime scene empty shells from a shotgun.

Chief Supt. Benjarde Mantele, regional police director for Southwest Mindanao (Region 12), said he already organized a special task force to investigate Iligan’s killing.

Mantele admitted they are facing a blank wall as to the motive behind the midwife’s death.

“Based on our initial investigations, the killing is caused by a personal grudge. But we don’t discount the possibility it’s work-related,” said Mantele in a radio interview.

Mantele said Iligan’s killing took place just a few hours after the massacre of five members of the Fegurac family in nearby Senator Ninoy Aquino town also in Sultan Kudarat province.

The towns of Bagumbayan and Senator Ninoy Aquino are located in the hinterlands of Sultan Kudarat.

Gunmen kill Sultan Kudarat midwife

by Malu Cadeliña Manar/VS, GMA News


KIDAPAWAN CITY – Gunmen shot dead a barangay midwife in Bagumbayan town in Sultan Kudarat province while on her way onboard a motorcycle to an assignment in Barangay Monteverde, around 10 a.m., Sunday, the police said Monday.

Killed was Elvira Iligan, 25, of Barangay Monteverde in Bagumbayan town, who suffered multiple gunshots on her back. She died instantly, said Bagumbayan Police chief Chief Inspector Junie Buenacosa.

The driver of the motorcycle identified as Felix Voltaire Tan was hit by stray bullet and is in critical condition, Buenacosa said.

Authorities recovered shotgun spent shells from the crime scene.

Chief Superintendent Benjarde Mantele, regional police director for Southwest Mindanao (Region 12), said he organized a special task force to investigate the killing.

Mantele admitted they are facing a blank wall as to the motive behind the midwife’s death.

“Based on our initial investigation, the killing is caused by a personal grudge. But we don’t discount the possibility it’s work-related," said Mantele in a radio interview.

Mantele said Iligan’s killing took place just few hours after the massacre of five members of the Fegurac family in nearby Senator Ninoy Aquino town also in Sultan Kudarat province.

The towns of Bagumbayan and Senator Ninoy Aquino are in the hinterlands of Sultan Kudarat.

Armed men in Sultan Kudarat storms store, kills 5

by AARON RECUENCO


MANILA, Philippines -- Terror greeted the usual peaceful Saturday morning in a small residential community in Sultan Kudarat after a group of armed men stormed a small store and killed five members of a family in the area, a police official revealed Sunday.

Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, Jr., spokesman of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said it was a cold-blooded killing since all the five victims were peppered with bullets while they were slumped on the floor of the store in Sitio Bagang-Bagang, Barangay Midtungok in Sen. Ninoy Aquino town.

The victims were identified as Julie Pegurak 47; Josephine Pegurak 45; Jonathan Pegurak; Jerson Pegurak; and, a certain Benjamin Pelitro.

Cruz said only five gunmen were allegedly seen storming, all of them wearing bonnets.

A separate report revealed that the five gunmen were backed up by at least 15 others.

“The victims were shot while lying face down, they all died on the spot,” said Cruz, adding that incident happened at around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Recovered in the crime scene were 62 spent shells and three bullets for Garand and M16 rifles.

The official said robbery immediately surfaced as the motive since the gunmen reportedly carted away some cash and other materials from the store owned by the victims.

The investigation revealed that the gunmen took two chainsaws, cash amounting to P40,000 and grocery items.

Police and military operatives were sent in the area to hunt down the gunmen who were last monitored moving towards Palembang town also in Sultan Kudarat.

Ragtag bandits roaming around remote areas in Mindanao have been a security problem for the police, some of them are engaged in robbery, extortion and even kidnap-for-ransom activities.

ARMM rites begin with free live telecast of Pacquiao's fight

by ALI G. MACABALANG


COTABATO CITY, Philippines – For the third time, the 20-month-old administration of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Acting Governor Ansaruddin Alonto-Adiong will provide free live telecast of Sunday’s fight between Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and Mexican challenger Juan Manuel Marquez as an opening highlight of the weeklong celebration of the 22nd ARMM foundation anniversary.

More spectators are expected to swarm the venue at the refurbished Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Center (SKCC) inside the ARMM compound here. Free snacks await viewers, Regional Executive Secretary Naguib Sinarimbo said.

“This (live telecast of Pacquiao’s fight) would be the third time the Adiong administration will host for our residents of ARMM and nearby areas in 20 months. This time, the free show and snacks would more meaningful because it kicks off our 22nd anniversary celebration from November 14 to 19,” Sinarimbo said.

The fully air-conditioned SKCC building has a sitting capacity of 870, but over 2,000 spectators swarmed the edifice in the last two ARMM-sponsored free live shows of Pacquiao fights. Giant TV units were installed at the covered lobby of the building to accommodate hundreds more viewers of Sunday’s event, organizers said.

Before the free live showing of the Pacquiao-Marquez match and its undercard fights, viewers would be shown a video documentation of the highlights of the trailblazing accomplishments of the Adiong administration in 20 months, they said.

On Monday, officials and workers of the entire regional bureaucracy will hold a colorful parade around the 22-hectare ARMM complex here to formally open the region’s 22nd founding anniversary celebration.

Various festive activities have been lined up for the weeklong celebration, including a jobs fair, free medical, dental and optical check-ups and medicines, sport games, cultural presentations, and a musical program organized by local journalists, among others, Sinarimbo said.

“The 22nd ARMM foundation celebration is more significant this time because it provides us the appropriate avenue to feast over the unprecedented achievements of the Adiong leadership and pay tribute to all individuals and groups that helped us make the difference,” he said.

The successes of the Adiong administration in bringing normalcy back in ARMM and Maguindanao after the infamous Nov. 23, 2009 massacre of 57 people including 32 journalists, and in winning back the trust of the regional populace and the foreign donors’ community are “worth giving the best celebration,” Sinarimbo said.

The Social Weather Station (SWS) released on Oct. 10 the results of a survey commissioned by the Department of Interior and Local Governments alongside the Asian Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), showing that 63 percent of the ARMM constituents were “satisfied” with the incumbents’ performance, with only 18 percent “dissatisfied.”

The survey result gave credence to earlier expressed “satisfactory” ratings of the operations of the Adiong administration by several foreign donor-institutions including the USAID, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Australian government, and agencies of the European Union and the United Nations.

Meanwhile, thousands of boxing fans and avid followers of Pacquiao in Davao City will be treated anew with a “ringside view” Sunday when the ring sensation faces off for the third time with his Mexican nemesis at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (With a report from PNA)

4 bombs defused in North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat

by Malu Cadeliña Manar


DAVAO CITY (Updated) -- Four hours after three bombs were defused in separate locations in North Cotabato early Wednesday, another bomb was found at a gasoline station in Sultan Kudarat.

The Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the bomb discovered in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat used as main charge a 60-mm mortar and a mobile phone as triggering device.

It was placed in one corner of the gasoline station Flying V, which is located along the national highway in Poblacion, Isulan.

A worker of the gasoline station found the bomb at 11 a.m. Wednesday. The Explosives and Ordnance Disposal Team (EOD) from the Philippine Army received the distress call an hour after and immediately proceeded to the area.

They successfully defused the explosive using a water disruptor.

Meanwhile, the three defused bombs in North Cotabato were recovered in three places -- near a bakeshop, in front of a hospital, and near a public market.

North Cotabato police said bomb disposal units from the EOD quickly defused the homemade bombs fashioned from 81-millimeter mortar rounds.

One of the bombs was recovered along the highway in front of Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kabacan around 7:05 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said.

The IED, fashioned from an 81-mm mortar, was discovered by a janitor working for the Kabacan Municipal Government while he was cleaning the highway, said Chief Inspector Ariel Perez Guevarra, provincial director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Team.

The janitor immediately reported his discovery at the police station.

Two hours later, joint elements of the 63rd EOD team, bomb experts from the Cotabato Provincial Police Office, and the Scene of the Crime Operatives arrived at the crime scene.

After they cordoned the area, they defused the bomb using water cannon, reports said.

On Tuesday, two homemade bombs exploded on USM Avenue in Kabakan, Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao chief Felicisimo Khu said.

The blast site is about 200 meters away from the gate of the University of Southern Mindanao. No one was hurt in the explosions that damaged several houses in the area.

The blasts also sent residents near the area into panic.

Khu said authorities believe the blasts were the handiwork of Basit Usman, the head of the Special Operations Group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front who is also affiliated with the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.

He said the bombs were also made from 81-millimeter mortar rounds.

"Explosions and recoveries of similar type of IEDs in the recent indicate that this bomb signature belongs to Basit Usman," said Khu.

He said investigations are underway to determine the motive and the perpetrators.

Khu said they recovered in the blast site a triggering device, which is now with the Crime Laboratory and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for "forensic examination."

Superintendent Joseph Semillano, chief of Kabacan Police, said the bombings in his area-of-responsibility were related to each other.

"Though these bombs are considered signatures of an armed group in Mindanao, we've yet to investigate further the motive behind the bombings," he said.

Two weeks ago, a roadside bomb also went off after a passenger bus passed a portion of the national highway in Kabacan, just few meters away from an Army detachment.

Authorities have yet to determine the motive of those behind Tuesday night's explosions. (Sun.Star Davao/VR/Sunnex

Another bomb defused in Sultan Kudarat gas station

by Carlo Agamon

Inquirer Mindanao


KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines — Four hours after bomb experts from the Army’s Explosives and Ordnance Disposal Team defused two improvised explosive devices recovered along the highway in Kabacan town in North Cotabato, another bomb was discovered in a gasoline station in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat, on Wednesday, the military reported. The Eastern Mindanao Command said the bomb was fashioned from a 60-mm mortar with a mobile phone as triggering device. The IED was placed at a corner of the gasoline station of the Flying V located along the highway in Poblacion, Isulan. After the EOD team from the Philippine Army received the information at around 11 a.m., it immediately proceeded to the area and successfully defused the explosive using a water disruptor. The bomb was discovered by one of the workers of the Flying V station. In Kabacan, at least five IEDs were planted in two different areas since Tuesday night, said Superintendent Joseph Semillano, the town police chief. Of the five EIDs, one went off, the other two were defused by bomb experts using a water disruptor, and the two others were turned over to the North Cotabato Provincial Police Office.

Feeding drive

by mb.com.ph


ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat (PNA) – More than 20,000 children in 900 day-care centers in Sultan Kudarat benefited from the supplemental feeding program launched by the Region-12 office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-12). DSWD-12 Assistant Director Gemma Rivera said the program has provided food to pre-school children for the past four months with a daily budget of P10 for each pupil. “We give them nutritious food so they will become healthy someday,” Rivera said. She urged parents to make sure that their children have taken breakfast before sending them to school.

1st Region 12 Coffee Congress Set

by dti.gov.ph


Poised to claim the tag “Coffee Capital of the Philippines,” Sultan Kudarat is staging the 1st Region 12 Coffee Congress come 17-19 November 2011 at the Provincial Capitol in Isulan.

Sultan Kudarat is currently the country’s biggest producer of all varieties of coffee recorded by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics at 23% of the national total.

In terms of Coffee Arabica, Sultan Kudarat remain the number one producer contributing 52% to the national total, trailed way behind by Davao del Sur with 7%, Iloilo and Sulu with 5% each and South Cotabato with 4%.

Sultan Kudarat is also the number one producer of Coffee Robusta with about 18% of the the Philippines’ total attributed to the province. Compostela Valley follows closely with 15%, Cavite with 10%, Bukidnon with 7% and Kalinga with 5%.

For Coffee Excelsa, top five are Sulu (20%), Davao sur (12%), North Cotabato (8%), Davao city (7%) and Compostela Valley (5%). While such is the situation, the yield is not as high as that of Cavite. Average yield in a hectare of coffee plantation in Sultan Kudarat is only 400 kg while that in Cavite was registered at an average of one ton per hectare.

This is one major reason for the conduct of the Congress, the organizers said, citing the need to rejuvenate or rehabilitate the existing coffee farms.

The congress shall tackle ways to improve agricultural and cultural practices, coffee quality profile, coffee for climate change, market requirements, coffee processing, and coffee shop business.

There shall also be Side Events like Agri, Trade & Techno Fair on coffee, Barista Exhibition, Market Matching with Nestle and Manila-based coffee shops, Investment Matching, Coffee Value Chain Tour and Coffee Cupping.

No less than Department of Agriculture Secretary is expected to grace the Opening Program, as the agency has now included coffee as a priority high value crop.

The local office of the Department of Trade & Industry has set as sales target of P2.0 M for the Market Matching; P5.0 M for new investments and improvement of productivity by 80% in the coming three (3) years.

The country is both an exporter and importer of coffee. In 2009, the Philippines exported coffee to Canada, Japan, South Korea and the USA. However it is also importing more coffee along with EU, USA, Japan, Canada and Switzerland.

Currently the country supplies only 30,000 metric tons or less than half of the 65,000 metric tons domestic demand.

The domestic demand for coffee is currently pegged at 65,000 MT while country only supplies 30,000 MT posting a deficit of 35,000 MT. The shortfall approximately amounting to Php0.3.6 Billion will be imported from other coffee producing countries.

A Roadmap to address the concerns of the coffee stakeholders have also been drafted by the DA, DTI, DOST, TESDA, LGUs and the coffee players themselves to ensure that we are on the right track.

Provincial and Municipal Coffee Industry Development Councils have also been organized in the coffee growing municipalities to monitor the development of the industry.

Inquiries or reservation to the 1st Region 12 Coffee Congress can be directed to the Secretariat: DTI – Sultan Kudarat at telephone number (064) 200-3166.

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