DAVAO CITY, The Philippines — The Philippine coffee industry is in a good trend in terms of production and quality, according to an American non-government organization helping farmers in the country.
“The coffee industry is in a good place. The trend is changing — there is more coffee consumption, more skilled farmers,” said TJ Ryan, chief of party of the ACDI/VOCA during the AFP-PNP press corps briefing at the Royal Mandaya Hotel on Wednesday.
ACDI/VOCA is the organization that implements the US Department of Agriculture-funded Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PHilCAFE) project, the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), and the World Coffee Research (WCR).
Along with robust growth in both quality and production, Ryan also cited the crafting of the five-year National Coffee Roadmap 2017-2022 that seeks to guide key sector players and government agencies in the development of the coffee industry.
For four years now, ACDI-VOCA has been providing technical support to the Philippine coffee farmers with total funding of USD515 million, focusing in Mindanao regions — Bukidnon, Socssksargen, Davao, Caraga, and parts of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Its four-year project seeks to build the capacity and expand service provision to 350 value chain actors, financial and school institutions, producer organizations and input suppliers, roasters and retailers.
Ryan noted that Philippine coffee has already penetrated the markets in Canada, Japan, and New Zealand and that the domestic market continues to be strong — especially for specialized coffee.
A briefer provided by ACDI/VOCA said the country’s coffee supply remains low compared to current demands. In 2015, coffee production was only 36,171 metric tons of green coffee beans while a farm yields an averaged 0.30 tons per hectare.
It said the small farmers continue to be the country’s main producers of coffee, with the following varieties accounting for the total production: Robusta, 69 percent; Arabica, 24 percent; Excelsia, 6 percent; and Liberica, 1 percent.
Soccsksargen, Davao, and ARMM are top three producing regions with a combined 68 percent of the coffee produced in the country in 2015, ACDI/VOCA said.
Socssksargen, Davao, ARMM, Calabarzon and Northern Mindanao are also top five regions with the huge coffee production area at 113,738 hectares.
Under the five-year roadmap, the government aims to increase the yield of green coffee beans by 0.3 metric tons per hectare to 1 metric ton per hectare by 2022 and production by 5 percent per annum.