Prof. Valentino Macanes of the College of Agriculture is one of the four Benguet Achievement Awardees 2019. He was recognized for his leadership qualities, achievements and accomplishments that are worthy of emulation. He received the award on November 22, 2019 at the Ben Palispis Hall, Benguet Provincial Capitol. He was nominated by Ms. Freda Gawisan, Benguet Provincial Director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Gawisan and Macanes worked together as members of the Technical Working Group (TWG) for the DTI Shared Service Facilities project.
Prof. Macanes is known for his research and extension work in coffee farming. He had been in various places in the country sharing his expertise on coffee. He was also director of the Institute of Highland Farming Systems and Agroforestry (IFHSA). The institute is mostly known for its age-old coffee trees raised under pine trees.
Among the things he shared with farmers, he considers the post-harvest processing techniques as the most important because it is critical in the production of quality coffee.
“If you don’t process right, the coffee flavor will be ruined. Sa arabica kasi we go for wet processing, traditionally our farmers do dry processing, ibilag dan ngay and then haan da pay ngay nga pilpilien day nauloom, kaguyod da. Idi sinumrek tayo, we really taught them to pick ripe (With arabica, we go for wet processing. Traditionally, our farmers do dry processing by sun drying the coffee cherries and they pick even the unripe coffee so we really taught them to pick ripe),” said Macanes.
Wet processing is depulping or removing the outer skin of the coffee berries immediately after harvest, soaking them in clean water for 12 to 24 hours until the slimy membrane around the berries are totally dissolved, then washing the berries in clean water before finally sun drying.
Macanes observed that the quality of coffee produced in CAR has improved citing that most winners of the National Coffee Cupping competitions by DTI are mostly from the region such as the Atok Arabica Coffee Growers Multipurpose Cooperative(ACOGMAC) and Ms. Jenny Rimando of Sagada, Mt. Province who were both assisted by BSU. A cupping competition evaluates the taste, aroma, acidity, after taste, body and flavor of coffee.
“We cannot compete with the production volume of other countries so we go for niche market with the quality of our coffee like the style of Blue Mountain coffee and Keisha coffee, selected and limited ang supply pero hahanapin talaga ng customers (the supply is selected and limited but there is a strong demand)”Macanes related that winning entries of the coffee cupping competitions are sold through bidding, where some farmers has sold their coffee beans for as much as Php 450.00 per kilo.
He emphasized that the award is also for BSU as an instrumental entity in the development of the coffee industry in the Cordillera Administrative Region, if not the country. He credited the work of Dr. Ben Dimas way back in the 1970s as the start of BSU being respected as Arabica coffee research center. Dr. Dimas has been awarded as one of the six coffee pioneers in the Philippines in the 1st Coffee Cup of Distinction Awards held on October 26, 2018 at the Dusit Thani Makati Hotel.
“The award humbles me and inspires me to work, tayo pala na taga Benguet could do it and I am happy to contribute to the glory of BSU,” Prof. Macanes said about the award. //JSTabangcura