Usec. Caballero, DA High Value Crops Development Program Technical Adviser, shows a climate map that could be useful in determining suitable areas of planting coffee and cacao.

In its attempt to develop sound policy recommendations that will contribute to the improvement of the sector,  the National Sectoral Committee on High Value Crops (NSC on HVC) – Coffee and Cacao highlighted the importance of collaboration and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) at the local level during its first quarter online meeting on February 28, 2024.

The Committee pointed out that collaboration among the Department of Agriculture (DA) concerned bureaus and attached agencies as well as with the local government units and other private organizations on the ground would provide DA the strategic programs and projects for both coffee and cacao farmers.


According to Policy Development and Coordination Division- Sectoral Policy Development and Coordination Section Chief Maria Belen Milanes, 13 out of the 38 regular members of the Committee are based in major coffee and cacao-producing areas in different regions.

One of the strategies to increase membership this year is to conduct onsite meetings in the major producing areas and capture first-hand comments and issues of the farmers at the local level. The collaboration and onsite meetings and dialogues among DA, local industry experts, and other organizations could increase the number of members of the Committee.


Likewise, the Committee also proposed to increase the budget of the sector to involve more Committee members in the participatory monitoring and evaluation of DA-funded projects.

“It is very important to push for an increased budget to increase linkage and collaboration at the local level. What we are discussing here at the national level should be carefully monitored at the ground level, that is why collaboration is very important,” said Bote Central co-founder Alvira “Vie” Reyes.

Aside from this, Philippine Cacao Industry Association President Consul Armi Lopez-Garcia emphasized the importance of harmonizing training modules from the national down to the local level. However, some comments raised argued that providing uniform modules may not apply to some areas because of climate variability and soil conditions, hence a site-specific module is much more strategic.


To provide clarification on this, NSC on Coffee and Cacao Chairperson David Santos noted that the Committee will invite the Agricultural and Training Institute, along with the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards to the next consultation to present the training tools and standards for the coffee and coffee sector. | Jezebel Campaniel