BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Cordillera office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-CAR) disclosed that the province lacks approximately ten tons of coffee beans annually to ensure the sufficiency of the coffee requirements of the province’s coffee lovers.
DTI-CAR regional director Juliet Lucas stated that despite the growing interest of farmers to engage in coffee production, the province can only produce some 15 tons of coffee beans annually which is not sufficient to provide the over 25 tons of coffee beans required by the populace.
She said there are still a lot of things to be done to reduce the gap between the demand and available supply of coffee, not only in the province but also in the region. to ensure there is sufficiency of coffee beans for both the local coffee lovers and the requirements of coffee buyers from local farmers.
The DTI-CAR official cited there had already been significant gains in the efforts of concerned government agencies for farmers to include coffee as one of their major product but there is still a lot to be done for the province and the region to become a sustainable source of quality coffee beans for the market.
Lucas reported that previously, coffee farmers limited their production in their own backyards, but since the region worked out its identity as one of the major coffee producers in the country, numerous individuals, associations and cooperatives worked out the expansion of their coffee plantation sites to help in stabilizing the supply of quality Arabica coffee beans for the increasing market in the country.
According to her, coffee production has become one of the major sources of income for an increasing number of individuals, associations and cooperatives that ventured on the production of quality coffee beans for the market, but their produce seems not to be sufficient, thus, the need for more producers.
Lucas underscored the bright prospects of coffee for local farmers because of the good quality of Arabica coffee beans being produced in the highlands and concerned agriculture industry stakeholders must provide the appropriate requirements for quality coffee bean supply for both the local and international markets.
She claimed that from the previous 350 grams of coffee beans per tree being produced by the farmers in the province, this increased to around 750 to 800 grams of coffee beans per tree, an improvement in coffee production in the province although this is still way below the 1.5 to 2 kilos coffee beans per tree that is standard in the production of coffee beans.
Lucas emphasized that the DTI and other concerned government agencies remain optimistic that local coffee growers inside and outside the province will be able to improve their production of quality coffee beans so that coffee can be a major source of income of the agriculture industry stakeholders wanting to help in making the country self-sufficient in coffee production.