Iloilo City recently played host to the groundbreaking National Coffee, Cacao, and Coconut (COCANUT) Congress 2023, a transformative event that unfolded from November 8 to 10 at the Iloilo Convention Center (ICON). The said gathering not only provided a platform for farmers and stakeholders, but also ignited a dialogue on the untapped potential of three essential crops within Philippine agriculture.
The congress prioritized immersions, providing participants with a focused examination of cultivation, processing, and utilization methodologies. Anchored by specific themes such as “Bean to Brew,” “Bean to Bar,” and “Whole Nut,” the event facilitated a comprehensive exploration of the life cycle of these crops, emphasizing key technical aspects and advancements.
Distinguished figures from the agricultural sector, including Dr. Louie S. Tirador, Chairman of POPA Agriculture Cooperative; Hon. Arthur R. Defensor Jr., Governor of the Province of Iloilo; Hon. Cynthia Villar, Senate Committee Chair on Agriculture and Food, Senate of the Philippines; Dir. Dennis R. Arpia, Regional Executive Director of the Department of Agriculture RFO VI; and Hon. Domingo F. Panganiban, Senior Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture, graced the event with their insights.
In her address, OIC Assistant Regional Director for Special Concerns, DENR Regional VI, ARD. Evene D. Reyes, emphasized the pivotal role of sustainability and environmental stewardship. “We aim to inspire a collective vision that envisions remarkable success and elevated achievements for the coffee, cacao, and coconut industry,” she expressed.
Gerald Glenn F. Panganiban, Director, High Value Crops Development Program, Department of Agriculture, shed light on the innovative “Coconut-based Coffee and/or Cacao Enterprise Development Project (C3EDP),” presenting a holistic approach towards agro-enterprise development.
The National COCANUT Congress successfully encouraged meaningful dialogue, facilitated professional networking, and showcased the latest innovations in the Coffee, Cacao, and Coconut sectors. This event stands as a pivotal platform for the exchange of knowledge, collaborative efforts, and advancements in these industries, fostering an environment where experts and stakeholders collaboratively contribute to the progressive evolution of agricultural practices in the country.