First mulberry tea processing plant in PH opens in Pampanga

MAGALANG, Pampanga — The first mulberry tea processing plant in the Philippines opened in the province of Pampanga.

Officials of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Kuwanosato, Inc., and Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU) led the inauguration of the plant located inside PSAU in Magalang town.

JICA Chief Representative Sakamoto Takema underscored that they have been introducing new technology and innovation to move up the agriculture value chain in the Philippines. 

“This [mulberry tea processing plant] is important in agro-industry development, jobs creation, and income generation. It also contributes to meeting the growing demand of Filipino consumers for healthier lifestyles,” he said.

The new tea production technology from Japan was originally installed in early 2020, but the inauguration was hampered by COVID-19 restrictions.

The factory can process about 500 kilograms of raw leaves in eight hours and produce around 100 kilograms of mulberry tea. 

With this, PSAU President Anita David expressed the university’s gratitude to JICA for paving the way for the dream of Kuwanosato, Inc and PSAU through the project.

“We are one in making the project a successful one in the coming years so that the big dream would be a bigger reality,” she stated.

The project is currently piloting mulberry cultivation techniques with three model farms in Pampanga which supplies the mulberry leaves to be processed into tea in the facility in PSAU.

The university and Kuwanosato, In. hope to sustainably commercialize mulberry tea products from the province that will cater to both local and export demands, including Japan.   

Meanwhile, farmers in the province affirmed the benefits of cultivating mulberries which has also provided them an opportunity for higher income. 

Mulberry tea is also expected to contribute to the promotion of good health among consumers due to its high nutritional content. 

It is a well-known natural and caffeine-free drink, which is very useful for weight loss, cholesterol reduction and diabetes control.