SAN JOSE De BUENAVISTA, Antique -- There is a huge market potential for Antique’s organic coffee and cacao and farmers are being encouraged to produce more.

Alvira Reyes, Philippine Coffee Alliance chief executive officer, told Antique farmers during the Provincial Coffee and Cacao Investment Fora in this town Wednesday that she could envision that the province will soon be known as one of the country's top organic coffee-producing provinces with the enthusiasm of the newly-formed councils for coffee and cacao which is composed of farmers.

She said that their alliance, composed of 50 members, is willing to help the farmers produce more organic coffee.

She said her own company, Bote Central, is even going to buy the farmers' produce, thus, providing them a market.

Reyes visited Caluoy village in Sibalom town on Tuesday to see the areas planted with coffee and know the predicaments of farmers. There was also a cupping of coffee produced there.

Meanwhile, Department of Trade and Industry-Antique (DTI) provincial director Mercedes Young said their agency is seriously looking into assisting coffee and cacao farmers in the province because of the good quality of their produce.
She said the fora is being held for two days starting Wednesday to raise awareness among farmers on the huge demand for coffee and cacao.

Based on their latest data, the province has 775 hectares of land planted with coffee by 1,129 farmers or growers.

There are also 39.38 hectares planted with cacao, with a volume production of 41.22 metric tons, and the number of farmers placed at 308.

The figure is seen to increase in the next two years with the assistance being given to farmers. (PNA)