The College of Forestry is about to conclude its partnership with ACDI/VOCA on a research venture on the flavor profile of Kalinga Robusta coffee through a conference to be held on December 1, 2022. During the conference, the results of the research are disseminated to the coffee farmers involved in the research. Other coffee farmers are included to learn about the harvest and post-harvest technology implemented in the project. This conference is an avenue to encourage coffee farmers to follow tested technologies to improve the quality of Kalinga coffee.
The underlying concept of this research is to establish a process for identifying flavor profiles in Kalinga at present and in the future. This endeavor directly supports the aim to determine the flavor profile of Robusta coffee from different elevations, which shall be used to improve coffee quality in Kalinga province. The selection of these areas is based primarily on the hypothesis of elevation as a factor or determinant that influences flavor profile. As part of the project, the activities shall also aim to establish a process for identifying flavor profiles in the Kalinga province now and in the future.
The research included capacitating the technical team and the farmers of post-harvest technology. Initial training was undertaken for the research team and selected students by PhilCAFE on Nov. 22-26, 2021. Follow-up training/coaching was conducted in December 2021 to equip the team on the standards and proper processes/technology for producing quality green coffee beans.
The College of Forestry implemented the project through the help of the Provincial Coffee Council in cooperation with the Office of the City Agricultural Services (OCAS) and the Office of the Municipal Agricultural Services (OMAS). There were 31 coffee farmers from different municipalities who were selected and participated in the research.
The 31 coffee farmer-cooperators also underwent training through individual coaching or mentoring by the research assistants. The farmers were involved in their coffee cherries' harvest and post-harvest processing.
The peak activity of the project was the cupping by Q graders conducted on August 22-25, 2022, within the premises of the KSU. Three Q graders in the person of Emeline Sabado, Brenda Claver, and Mario Macalalad, evaluated the 31 samples. Their rating revealed that the Kalinga Robusta coffee is classified as Premium Robusta or Fine Robusta.
ACDI/VOCA (www.acdivoca.org) is an international economic development organization that implements the Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE) project, which is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is designed to support the coffee sector in the Philippines.
The research has a total budget of Php2,582,481.00; ACDI/VOCA provided Php1,184,681 to cover materials and RA salaries, and KSU’s leverage covered Php2,582,481.00, which included the researcher's salaries and services, travel, and other costs.
It must be remembered that for the coffee to reach these ratings, it must undergo proper harvest and post-harvest techniques to come up with green coffee beans that will pass the scrutiny of the Q graders.
The cupping activity was made possible because the university has cupping facilities from the Philippine Rural Development Program Department of Agriculture in 2018. The PhilCAFE project has provided additional mini-cupping, and post-harvest tools, which were turned over on November 22, 2021. These cupping facilities enable the university to conduct future cupping activities. /ISC