Coffee production falls short of demand

Published by rudy Date posted on July 11, 2012

LA TRINIDAD Benguet: There is a bright future for coffee production here in the Cordillera region.

Philippine Coffee Board co-chairperson Pacita Juan, made this assertion in her keynote address during the first Cordillera Coffee FIESTA (Farm and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda) held at the Benguet State University (BSU), here, recently.

She said the country’s coffee demand is more than double of what are being produced. Data shows that present consumption stands at 65,000 Metric Tons (MT) a year, while the production only stands at 25,000 MT.

“We are spending P4 billion to import 4,000 MT of coffee a year”, Juan said. She also bared that the demand for coffee is increasing in proportion to the growing population, more than the production.

Juan said the high demand for Cordillera coffee such as the Arabica of Benguet and the Robusta of Kalinga both in the local and international specialty markets, which are looking for sustainable coffee, rainforest coffee, shade grown coffee, organic coffee and fair trade coffee, which all can be found or grown here in the region with its good climate for coffee. Farmers here are growing coffee the organic and natural way with most of the farms located in rainforest or are grown under shades.

She called for a unified effort and cooperation under one goal of improving coffee production in the region and to promote one regional brand–Cordillera coffee.

Juan also encouraged Cordillerans to help plant 4 million coffee trees, which will not only help in the government’s National Greening Program but will also help the country cope with the increasing demand.

Among the other recommendation of Juan, for improving coffee production in the region are: rejuvenation to make old trees young again; education in proper harvesting and handling techniques; promote batch roasting of coffee; teach about coffee in the university as well as to conduct short courses and seminars about coffee for everyone, and to create a new institution that would train new coffee experts for the next generation. –Gaby B. Keith, Manila Times

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