By Madeleine V. Ricafrente, DOSTPCAARRD S&T Media Service)

With the aim of housing a one-stop information shop showcasing the different coffee varieties found in the Philippines, Dr. Carmen L. Lagman, head of the Biodiversity Unit of De La Salle University, and Dr. Ruel M. Mojica, director of the National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center (NCRDEC) of the Cavite State University (CvSU), conceptualized and spearheaded the establishment of the Coffee Museum.

Launched earlier this year, the Coffee Museum is located inside the CvSU-Don Severino delas Alas Campus in Indang, Cavite. It houses a vast collection of different varieties of coffee from all over the Philippines, including the Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and the Excelsa varieties.

Coffee is one of the hallmarks of Filipino hospitality; whether brewed or instant, it is offered to guests in homes and offices. On the average, regular coffee drinkers consume three to five cups of coffee a day.

The establishment of the said museum was made possible through the funding support of the United States Agency for International Development – Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (USAIDSTRIDE).

Also, in his talk during the museum launch, Dr. Alejandro dC. Mojica, Sr. acknowledged the funding support of the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) of their coffee projects.

Dr. David Hall, the Chief of Party of STRIDE, in his speech, said that STRIDE will support NCRDEC’s R&D activities until the project’s completion in three years. Present during the launching were key officials, faculty and students of CvSU; Dr. David Hall of USAID-STRIDE; Mirshariff C. Tillah of USAID; the De La Salle University Biodiversity Unit Staff-Taft Campus; representatives of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research; different industry partners; provincial and local government units headed by 7th District Board member Irene Bencito; coffee farmers and growers; representatives from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist; Department of Trade and Industry representatives; and coffee advocates and enthusiasts.

Decades ago, the provinces of Cavite and Batangas were known for the coffee they grew. But in recent years, the production of coffee shifted to Benguet and other parts of Mindanao. Also, gone are the days when the Philippines was one of the top coffee exporting countries. In concluding his speech, Dr. Ruel Mojica called for the support of all present of its ultimate goal of bringing Philippine coffee back into the world market.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s October 2015 issue.