The Department of Agriculture (DA) continues to strengthen its relationship with the private sector to boost production of local coffee and enable the country to go beyond the 15% sufficiency level.
Recently, DA and Nestle Philippines met to discuss collaborations that intend to uplift the Philippine coffee industry starting with the full support of the latter in the implementation of the coffee industry roadmap 2021-2025.
According to Nestle, the realization of the programs and initiatives highlighted in the roadmap will play a crucial role in the attainment of an advanced and progressive sector.
The 5-year plan provides a clear direction to enhance farmers’ technical capability and skills, towards increased yields and better incomes. Under the strategy, the government will increase the local supply from farmers to boost production for use in manufacturing and Out-of-Home consumption. It will also establish a database containing vital information such as volume of production and current buying price that may be accessed by stakeholders.
As joint-actions between the government and the private sector firm up, a one thousand kilogram per hectare coffee yield is forecasted, especially with the interventions provided by DA and Nestle such as training and distribution of quality planting materials.
During the meeting, Nestle urged the DA to include sustainability in coffee production while working closely with farmers to ensure high quality coffee beans.
Nestle added that a greater public investment is also crucial to revive and sustain the sector that has declined by 3.5% every year for the past ten years.
DA is looking at Mindanao, specifically SOCCSKSARGEN where 70% national production is sourced to be developed as the country’s coffee capital. Last year alone, coffee growers from Bukidnon and Sultan Kudarat increased their yield and income by threefold. The growth comes after the Nestle and GIZ’s Project Coffee+ interventions and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) applied by coffee farmers in their coffee farms.
To maintain this development, the coffee company proposes to establish a coffee center in Sultan Kudarat and conduct research on balanced fertilization. ### (Adora D. Rodriguez, DA-AFID)