Provido emphasized five factors in meeting quality standards and volume requirements for domestics and international markets. These are: expand coffee production areas in the region, rehabilitate old coffee plantations, observe Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) through trainings and farm accreditation, establishment of postharvest facilities, and effective branding of green coffee beans.
A total of 185,500 trees were rehabilitated regionwide: 13,000 trees in Davao City, 82,500 trees in Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental, 15,000 trees in Davao Oriental, 15,000 trees in Davao del Norte and 60,000 trees in Compostela Valley.
“To sustain coffee production, rejuvenate old trees to improve its productivity. It is a widely accepted practice for revitalizing coffee farms and has been found more advantageous than replanting,” Provido adds.
Rejuvenated coffee trees will bear larger berries only after a year compared to replanting which will take three to four years before flowering.
DA also urges farmers to adopt GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) in their farms to ensure food safety and assured quality of agricultural produce while keeping high regard for environmental protection as well as health, safety and welfare of the workers.
“Safe, quality, and competitive products must start with farmers’ adherence to GAP standards. High-value crops such as coffee, banana, cacao, durian and other industrial and horticultural crops are the region’s comparative advantage,” Provido said.
She added, “Part of DA-HVCDP assistance is to provide small processing equipment where farmers can immediately process their berries not only to reduce wastage but also to improve quality.”
The pulper machine has significantly reduced breakage of coffee during de-pulping process.
“Proper picking, drying and storing must also be observed to produce quality coffee. Poor handling and storing practice can deteriorate the quality of coffee,” said Agriculturist John Paul Matuguinas.
Matuguinas added that in harvesting, strip picking was abandoned and replaced with picking only the red berries. “Pick red” is a recommended practice as red berries indicate that the coffee is at the peak of its ripeness and the flavor has fully developed.
Recommended postharvest practices were also observed which include washing freshly picked berries and air dried in an elevated dryer.
“In producing specialty coffee wet process is observed where red berries are washed, de-pulped, parched and fermented for 24 hours. After fermentation, beans are air dried in an elevated drying bed,” Matuguinas said.
Effective branding of green coffee beans is notable in these existing farmers associations: The Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association (BACOFA) in Sitio Pluto, Bansalan, Davao del Sur; Tibolo Upland Farmers Association (TUFA) and Jose Rizal Farmers Association (JORIFA) in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur; Langgawisan Tropical Farmers Association (LATROFA) in Tarragona, Davao Oriental; and Bagobo Tagabawa Farmers Livelihood Association (BBTAFLA) in Digos, Davao del Sur.
Coffee is currently the second most consumed beverage, the second most traded commodity, and the fifth most important agricultural product. In the Philippines, coffee is produced in four varieties: Robusta, Excelsa, Arabica and Liberica (barako).
Moreover, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) lists Davao Region, Central Mindanao, and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao as the top producers of coffee.
The created Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap 2017-2022 will guarantee a coffee industry that is cost-competitive, aligned with global-quality standards, reliable and environment-friendly, that will provide sustainable benefits to farmers, processors, traders, and exporters, and attain food security and poverty alleviation.