THE coffee industry will need funding of at least P2 billion annually for the next five to seven years to hit an 80% self-sufficiency rate from the current 15%, an industry official said on Monday.
“In Vietnam, the yield is 2 kilos per tree (at the minimum, but) in the Philippines, (the yield is) 300 grams per tree,” Gregoria Ruth P. Novales, vice-president for corporate affairs at Nestlé Philippines, told the House agriculture and food committee.
The Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap seeks to increase the self-sufficiency of the industry to about 47%, according to Enrique G. Dela Cruz, project development officer for the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) high value crops development program (HVCDP).
“Our problem is actually (that) we don’t have the production. As a matter of fact, the Japanese were here ordering around a hundred metric tons (but) we couldn’t give them that; (output is) not even sufficient for our own local requirements,” Mr. Dela Cruz said.
David T. Santos, who heads of the national banner program on coffee and cacao under the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries, said that the roadmap is focused on providing various coffee varieties, fertilizer, equipment, post-harvest facilities, training for farmers, and a coffee database.
Joycel R. Panlilio, project development officer IV of the Agriculture department’s HVCDP, said the DA initially sought P600 million next year to develop the coffee industry, but got only P84 million.
Legislators are currently deliberating a bill that seeks to develop the Philippine coffee industry along the lines of the industry roadmap.
Coffee is the second-leading drink in the Philippines next to water, Ms. Novales said.
The Philippines has around 80,000 coffee-farming families, with the average age of farmers at 58, according to Mr. Dela Cruz. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz