Wanted: Young coffee growers

This was all I had to say upon reading this article a friend shared with me.

“(I’m coffee addictus.) It is said that coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth. Why are we letting these opportunities pass by? Er…”

The country needs a new breed of coffee farmers to sustain and make the industry competitive, an official of the Philippine Coffee Board said.

Emmanuel Torrejon, Northern Luzon coordinator of the PCB, said the country only has about 30,000 coffee farmers, most of them between 60 and 80 years old.

The PCB, Torrejon said, was also urging agriculture schools in the country to offer courses on coffee farming and processing to spark interest among the youth to revitalize the coffee industry.

“These old farmers need to be replaced in the near future by younger, creative farmers to sustain the industry. Our farmers are too old and we are worried about who is going to take over,” Torrejon said.

He said the board partly attributed the decline in coffee production to the waning interest of local farmers to cultivate their coffee plantations and who prefer to plant high-yielding cash crops.

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