A rare and unexpected development happened recently for Cordillera’s coffee industry as one Trade and Industry Development Specialist of the Department of Trade and Industry-Kalinga passed a grueling and complicated exam that qualified him to be an R Grader for Robusta coffee.
During the March 1-4, 2017 Philippine Coffee Board Inc.’s First Annual Cup Quality Competition held at the Cavite State University, Jeff Pasikan made it as R Grader to the delight of DTI- CAR Regional Director Myrna Pablo who congratulated Pasikan saying that very few Filipinos made it so far for this kind of distinction and achievement. “We are so proud of you. Now you can be R grader for DTI… meaning less costly to have an R grading for our Robusta farmers” Pablo said to Pasikan when the result of the series of tests came out.
According to obtained data, in order to become a Robusta Grader (R Grader), one must pass all the R Grader exams like the true or false exam of 100 questions about Robusta coffee cupping and grading, roasting, brewing, cultivation, harvesting and processing. Accordingly, these are similar to Q Arabica exams but apply different concepts or formulas. As a matter of procedure, participants taste three samples of each taste group and rank them by intensity as to salinity, sourness, sweetness and bitterness. Aside from that, the participants were also subjected to a blind identification testing where they are to identify by group and intensity all sample coffee solutions without seeing them.
There is also a third assessment called Mixture Set where contenders will identify the type and intensity of base solutions out of nine mixtures of samples. DTI Ifugao Provincial Director Valentin Baguidudol said that it also pays to be a non-smoker like Pasikan because his taste buds are without adulteration from any after-taste substance like nicotine.
DTI Kalinga Provincial Director Grace Falgui Baluyan upon learning the results of the coffee grading exam praised her staff saying that Kalinga is blessed to have its first certified R Grader recognized by the Agricultural Cooperative Development International (ACDI) and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (VOCA). With the added competency, Jeff Pasikan can push quality consciousness amongst Cordillera coffee stakeholders.
In another development, DTI-Abra Provincial Director Arell Bañez cited during the recent Bamboo Congress that bamboo is not only good for furniture making but it has a number of significant uses such as treatment for wounds and ulcers, housing, clothing made from bamboo fibre, and as antioxidants. It is also used in Abra for soil erosion mitigation in riverbanks because its large roots can easily absorb and grasp the soil. The Bamboo Congress was part of the Centennial Bazaar in Bangued, Abra where a Pasalubong Center was launched by Governor Joy Valera-Bernos, Dir. Myrna P. Pablo and PD Arell F. Bañez. Art Tibaldo / ABN
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