by Rojean Grace Patumbon/UM Intern
THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture XI wants to develop Davao Region as the top coffee producer in the country.
According to Engr. Rubylyn Goez, Regional High-Value Crops Development Program coordinator, Davao’s Arabica has always been renowned for its refined quality.
In fact, nine coffee farmers from Bansalan received recognition at the Philippine Coffee Expo 2023 for producing a speciality coffee, the Arabica coffee beans.
He said at the sidelines of the PEP Talk forum at SM Lanang that they already submitted a proposal to the central office to boost production.
For instance, DA XI plans to procure 155,000 seedlings of coffee for expansion and another 95,000 seedlings for distribution in the potential areas where coffee seeds could flourish.
DA XI eyes Davao Del Norte, Davao Del Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao Occidental for expansion. Currently, about 15,000 hectares in the region have been planted with coffee.
Recent Philippine Statistics Authority data showed Davao ranking third in production volume from January to March 2022-2023, with 1, 290.82 metric tons. The city is followed by Region X (Northern Mindanao) with 1,290.
However, Region XII (Soccsksargen) dwarfs both Southern and Northern Mindanao, with its 3,150.40 metric tons.
Region XII has consistently been the highest coffee producer, cornering this quarter’s 33.4% of the nation’s total coffee production. Northern Mindanao and Davao Region contribute 13.7% and 12.3%, respectively.
The country’s coffee distribution mostly consists of robusta at 73.5%, Arabica at 18.6%, Excelsa at 7.4%, and Liberica at 0.6%.
He said DA’s focus included education and knowledge transfer to maximize coffee production. One of the problems coffee producers face is the fertilization of their land area.
DA XI highly discouraged dependence on synthetic fertilizers if soil quality is poor. Instead, farmers must contact the department for help with soil analysis to identify the core problems and find solutions to address them.
Aside from soil rehabilitation, he said they are preparing coffee farmers for the coming onslaught of El Niño in the last quarter of 2023 and the first quarter of 2024.
For example, they are coordinating with the LGUs to monitor existing interventions and donate agri-water systems to regional coffee producers.
The DA-XI Research Station partnered with World Coffee Research to plant different coffee varieties at their Bansalan nursery.
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