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Negros Occidental showcases organic coffee

Posted at | Updated as of 05/02/08 9:15 PM


Organically-grown coffee is now available to residents of Negros Occidental who prefer every cup to come from selected coffee cherries that are chemical-free.

This became possible after the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (Nisard) Foundation launched the Negros Island rainforest coffee produced by farmers from upland communities at the foot of Mount Kanlanon.

At harvest time, the red coffee cherries are selectively handpicked, sorted and dried on site following Nisard's internal quality control standards.

"Because of the internal quality control system that the communities must follow, meaning from planting materials should be organic, organic fertilizers, other inputs, the processing, the packaging and so on,"  Robert Gasparillo Jr., Nisard’s organic quality assurance officer.
    
The organic way in which these coffee cherries are grown supports the natural symbiotic relationship between the coffee trees and the native wildlife.

Nisard is planning to penetrate the local market to find its niche and eventually start exporting it outside the province.

“We are trying to tie up with the government offices to serve negros island rainforest coffee instead of buying commercial coffee in the market," Rommel Ledesma, executive director of Nisard, said.

They are packed in 250-gram foils packs at P100 per pack for regular blend and P125 for special blend.

According Gasparillo and Ledesma, Nisard wants the public to know that every cup of Negros rainforest coffee consumed helps improve the lives of farmers in the mountains. Marty Go, ABS-CBN Bacolod