The Manila Times (April 19, 2018)
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) expects the Philippine coffee sector to grow substantially as the government aims to increase its sufficiency level from the current 41.6 percent to 161 percent by 2022 under an industry plan signed last year.
In a statement on Wednesday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said his agency was working with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ensure that the industry would be on a par with top coffee producers Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia, and Honduras.
Coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world. It is grown in 50 countries along the equatorial zone called the “Bean Belt,” on which the DTI chief said the Philippines lies.
The country currently produces about 37,000 tons of the coffee annually.
Leading producers are Region 12 (Soccsksargen), with 25,100.77 metric tons (MT); Region 11 (Davao), 11,429.78 MT; Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), 10,341.59 MT; Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), 5,604.95 MT; and Region 6 (Western Visayas), 4,356.25 MT.
Coffee demand is currently at 90 percent, and imports amount to roughly P12 billion annually, Lopez said.
Vietnam is the top exporter of coffee green beans to the country, according to latest DTI data. Filipinos are fifth among the world’s leading coffee drinkers, after the Europeans, Americans, Brazilians, and Japanese, the department said.
“We have to have a patriotic drive to encourage demand for Philippine coffee. We are encouraging local producers to expand coffee production to create demand,” Lopez said.
To bolster production, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap 2017-2022 in March 2017.
It aims to ensure that the sector is cost-competitive, aligned with global quality standards, and environment-friendly; provides sustainable benefits to its players; and attains food security and alleviates poverty.
Under the roadmap, which the Philippine Coffee Council will implement, 213,788 hectares will be made available for coffee-planting. Each hectare is expected to yield 1 ton of coffee beans, instead of the usual 0.33T.
The country is expected to generate 214,62 MT by 2022, Lopez said.
Source: The Manila Times