MANILA – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on Monday said it is allocating 500 additional slots in its Coffee Production Level II program.

"This training not only provides our coffee farmers and workers with the most updated skills and knowledge to remain competitive, but it will also help ensure a steady supply of qualified workers for the industry," said TESDA Director General Danilo Cruz.

He added that upgrading the skills of coffee farmers will result in improving their products and competitiveness.

Coffee Production Level II is a joint training program with Nestlè Philippines Inc. (NPI), and has a duration of 176 hours or 25 days.

The additional 500 slots will be for this year and beyond, according to TESDA. In 2022, 230 trainees completed the course, while 268 are still undergoing training.

More farmers are being eyed to benefit from this program that seeks to promote workers’ entrepreneurship and enhance competency standards in coffee production and other related training programs.

A combination of face-to-face and distance learning on modern coffee-growing techniques and entrepreneurship is being done.

Training is being conducted at the Bukidnon Integrated Coffee Center (BIGCC) in Malaybalay City, and at the TESDA Provincial Training Center in Sultan Kudarat.

NPI provided the agronomists to help TESDA develop training regulations, competency standards, and competency assessment tools.

Coffee starter toolkits are also being provided to farmer-beneficiaries by the NPI. The kit includes workbooks, record books, visual aids and other materials for the training.

TESDA said over 700 farmers have finished the training since the program was launched in 2021. (PNA)