Investment In ‘Black Gold’ Pushed

February 25, 2012

Mark Anthony N. Manuel
Manila Bulletin
February 23, 2012

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga, Philippines — Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has urged the national government to develop the coffee industry in the Philippines, which he tagged as the Philippine “black gold.”

“The country could be missing out on a great opportunity if it fails to pay attention its well-regarded coffee beans,” said Pangilinan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

Pangilinan, who hails from this province, said he allocated P5 million from the Priority Assistance Development Fund (PDAF) of his office for the purchase of a common service roaster that will enable farmers to increase the value of their beans, thereby increasing their own earning potential.

“There is resurgence in the popularity of coffee shops, and it is unthinkable that we are not making the most out of this opportunity by marketing the Philippines’ coffee beans,” Pangilinan said.

The lawmaker has also encouraged businesses to advocate coffee bean agriculture development in the Philippines.

“I enjoin our countrymen to support our proudly Pinoy-made coffee beans. Our beans are renowned for their unique taste,” he added.

Pangilinan said the Philippines must be able to capitalize on the good quality of coffee beans harvested in the country to boost the local coffee industry and empower local farmers and all those whose lives are dependent on the said valuable commodity.

The senator is also advocating the “Sagip Saka” movement, an advocacy to achieve sustainable modern agriculture and food security by transforming agricultural communities to reach their full potential, improving farmers’ and fishers’ quality of life, and bridging gaps through public-private partnerships.

“Sagip Saka is meant to give agriculture and fisheries the primacy that it deserves by focusing on improving the quality of life of our farmers and fisherfolk and, in doing so, building sustainable farming communities nationwide as a means to achieve food security. Only through strong public-private partnerships can we achieve this,” he said.

The senator said opening access to market, rolling out infrastructure, and strengthening research and development in the field of agriculture would help millions of farmers in the country to increase their income, thereby improving the quality of their lives.

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