NCRDEC and DLSU, to lead project that will boost PH coffee production
Mapping, museum and genetic tags – these are the main components of a project to be implemented by a local molecular geneticist and her team, that aims to improve coffee industry in the Philippines.
In partnership with the National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center (NCRDEC), Dr. Maria Carmen Lagman, biodiversity unit chief of De La Salle University (DLSU), is spearheading a project intended to establish and improve coffee varieties in the country, Inquirer reported.
The project, backed by the USAID Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development, focuses on three aspects: a geographic information system that maps out regions and provinces where a particular coffee variety can best thrive, a one-stop information shop called “Coffee Museum,” and the group of genetic tags for local varieties of coffee to improve production.
“I learned that if you want to feed your elephant, you build your jungle … so that’s why I have three centerpieces to my project and not just one,” Lagman said in the report., who also teaches in DLSU’s biology unit.
The thought of igniting the coffee production in the country came about when Lagman met Dr. Ruel Mojica, NCRDEC director in Texas in 2014 during a social entrepreneurship workshop in line with her Fulbright-Philippine agriculture scholarship program at Oregon State University, Inquirer said.
The two scientists got the chance to discuss the ‘lethargic’ coffee industry in the Philippines, which was once the fourth largest source of coffee beans globally, exporting up to $100 million annually.