Cebu business chamber vows networking support as DA pushes for coffee farming in Central Visayas

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THE CEBU Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) has expressed support to the development of coffee farming in Cebu province and other parts of the Central Visayas Region, particularly in terms of networking for market access and technical know-how. CCCI President Melanie C. Ng said the chamber, with its strong local and international network, can help link coffee growers to experts and buyers. Ms. Ng said the group has yet to tackle the matter, but they do see vast opportunities in the industry. The Department of Agriculture (DA) Central Visayas office recently said it will activate programs that will support coffee farming in the region. The Cebu provincial government has also committed to provide support to the sector. The town of Tuburan is considered the coffee basket of Cebu with more than 2,000 hectares of coffee farms. The National Economic and Development Authority earlier said it sees a need for the government to provide coffee seedlings, funds for fertilizers, and post-harvest facilities and machinery for coffee bean processing. The Philippines currently imports up to 80% of its coffee requirement. — The Freeman