1970476_10203316853230765_1689739996_nPIDDIG, Ilocos Norte, Feb. 8 – At least 1,600 hectares are being developed as a viable coffee plantation site courtesy of national government agencies and the local government here.

Of the total land area, 10 hectares are already planted with Arabica seedlings. Some 337,000 seedlings of kawkawate tree and 71,000 seedlings of timber tree specie were also planted on same site as shade for the growing coffee crop.

Piddig Mayor Eduardo Guillen said the project was designed to utilize the town’s untapped land and labor resources and raise their economic output, create jobs, and reduce poverty.

Once the coffee plantation project is realized in Sitio Lammin, Barangay Dupitac, Piddig town, it would be the largest plantation in the Ilocos provinces that is expected to boost tourism and exports in the country. (Mt. Lammin’s year-round climate is likened to Baguio City, sources said.–Editor)

The coffee plantation is cultivated by almost 1,000 families, farmers and other individuals interested in agri–business.

“Our project will create an inclusive growth through a well-developed coffee industry and agri–tourism,” he said.

The project is expected to generate an average family income of P104,000 for lowland farms and Php138,000 for highland farms.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has downloaded P10 million and P52 million to Piddig, covering nursery establishment, seedlings production, plantation establishment, and plantation maintenance and protection.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has set aside some P98 million fund for the concreting of the farm to market road leading to the Lammin Arabica plantation. (MCA/FGL, PIA-1 Ilocos Norte)