July 3, 2014
Gold Star Daily
THE Philippine Coffee Board Inc. (PCBI) eyes Mindanao to be the coffee hub of the country, PCBI officials said in an interview Tuesday.
PCBI co-chair Pacita U. Juan said this shift to Mindanao as the coffee hub for the country is pushed by increasing land value in Luzon particularly in areas of Cavite and Batangas provinces.
â€œWhen land value is increasing, the crops should go to place where the land value is cheaper,â€ Juan said citing the southern Philippines offers lowest value of land.
Aside from the land value, farms in Cavite are now more utilized for other agricultural products like fruits; thus harvest of coffee beans in the said area is declining.
â€œBenguet is already getting too much attention. We are now shifting it to the south,â€ she added.
PCBI chair Nicholas A. Matti, likewise, noted that the potential of the coffee farms in Mindanao are not yet maximized, producing only 17,000 tons of coffee.
He said that making Mindanao as the coffee hub will help around 40,000 farmers who are mostly indigenous people.
Mountains in Mindanao, where coffee farms are situated, also have more accessibility through different provinces; making coffee farming more inclusive.
In order to further develop the coffee industry in Mindanao, more roasting facilities should be provided in these areas.
According to Matti, provinces of Negros, Cotabato, and Zamboanga have thriving roasting businesses.
Moreover, the coffee industry is a growing sector as there is 3.0 to 5.0 percent annual growth in demand of robusta coffee while roasted and ground coffee demand has an annual growth of 10 to 15 percent.
Meanwhile, the PCBI will bring its annual coffee summit in Davao City on Oct. 13-17 to further boost the coffee industry in Mindanao.