Philippine Coffee Industry Gets Boost

THE Philippine coffee industry is expected to get a big boost after five government agencies vowed to collaborate in pushing the implementation of the country’s coffee roadmap.

During the Third Philippine Coffee Conference held in Baguio City on Tuesday, the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority agreed to cooperate in boosting the country’s coffee industry by implementing the commodity’s roadmap.

In her message for the conference, Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, made reference to the International Coffee Organization and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) that revealed Philippine coffee production has been decreasing by 3.9 percent per year over the past decade.

With this development, Villar urged farmers to adopt “inter-cropping coffee with coconut, establish coffee nurseries, and put-up farm schools supported by TESDA and the Agricultural Training Institute [ATI] of the DA to have a better income stream and to get out of poverty.”

She said the good news is that according to the Philippine Coffee Board (PCB), coffee consumption in the country is rising and is now at 170,000 metric tons per year from only 75,000 MT in 2002.

However, she said production is only 35,000 MT, which is the reason why the country still importing coffee.

Based on the data from the DA, the Philippines imports from 75,000 MT to 100,000 MT of dried coffee beans from Vietnam and Indonesia annually at a cost of P7 to 10 billion.

During last year’s Coffee Expo in Butuan City spearheaded by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), it was revealed coffee has found a new home in Mindanao particularly in South Cotabato, Cotabato City, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City, also called Soccsksargen (Region 12).

According to PhilMech, also an agency under the DA, Mindanao currently leads in the local production of dried beans with Sultan Kudarat taking No. 1 spot with 21,119.24 MT in 2016 followed by Davao del Sur with 5,007.54 MT; Sulu, 4,802.30 MT; Bukidnon, 4,423.50 MT; Maguindanao, 3,401.85 MT; North Cotabato, 2,014.18 MT; and Basilan, 1,732.50 MT.

Outside Mindanao, Iloilo accounted for 2,722.32 MT; Kalinga, 2,080 MT; and Cavite, 1,811.68 MT.

In the traditional coffee areas in the Cordillera Administrative Region and Calabarzon, production has decreased from strong typhoons two years ago that affected coffee plantations.

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