JOLO, Sulu — The Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism’s Bureau of Trade and Industry (MTIT-BTI) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) conducted on Wednesday, Nov. 10, a coffee industry cluster forum in this capital town of Sulu.
Attended by several cooperative members of Sulu Coffee Industry Federation (SCIF) and other stakeholders, the forum aimed to discuss the issues and challenges of coffee industry in the province.
It also sought to present MTIT’s Growth Enhancement Approach towards Regional Economic Development (GEARED) program.
MTIT-Sulu Senior Trade Industry Development Specialist Rail A. Kamlon on Saturday said that the country is presently in high demand for coffee. “Many of us have realized and started venturing business with coffee, from coffee production, coffee related products, to even coffee shops,” he said.
“The more business that comes with coffee, then the more coffee production becomes in demand,” Kamlon added.
On the other hand, BTI Chief Amina S. Karon-Mendez emphasized that BARMM has high potential in terms of coffee production.
“Hindi tayo mahirap, we are top three (3) in terms of coffee production… Through coffee farming, we can help improve the lives of Bangsamoro people. Ito ang pinaka-goal ng BARMM, uplifting the lives of the Bangsamoro,” Mendez said.
Several issues and challenges were identified during the forum which included land fencing, quality seedlings, efficient facilities, and training funds.
Six (6) municipalities of Sulu province are currently engaged into coffee farming and are also members of SCIF, such as Talipao, Omar, Patikul, Indanan, Parang, and Maimbung.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL