The production of coffee has risen to 35,000MT from the lowest of 22,000MT in 2002 when the Presidential Task Force for Coffee Rehabilitation was organized by then Pres Arroyo. The Task Force soon was given the title National Coffee Development Board (NCDB) and later incorporated as the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. (PCBI), a private-sector led organization for the promotion of Philippine coffee.
Though the production still falls short of the increasing domestic demand of 120,000MT/year, there have been very positive developments in the coffee sector. This has made the PCBI invite experts who have had experience in increasing yields per tree, if not increasing the number of trees planted.
The expert who is returning to the Philippines is Dr. Dave D’Haeze, a Robusta coffee expert of the Hans Neumann Stiftung Foundation (HNSF) who has been working in Vietnam and Indonesia, the world’s no. 2 and 4 in terms of production volume.
Dr. D’Haeze has visited farms in Mindanao in 2012 and believes that the Philippines is all set for increased production numbers if farmers practiced what they do in Vietnam and Indonesia.
One such farmer is Jim Milabo of Lunao, Negros Occidental who went to Vietnam and saw how Dr. Dave’s teaching helped farmers increase their yield to 5 MT per hectare. The PH average is 700 kilos per hectare. Jim now has a pilot farm to demonstrate the practices of Vietnam farmers. One need not go to Vietnam anymore but just to visit Milabo’s farm or better yet listen to the expert himself who wrote the book on Robusta farming. After all the PH production is 90% Robusta and just 10% of the other varieties.
Dr. Dave will also tackle the issue of climate change and its effect on coffee production to better arm coffee farmers of the effects of changing weather conditions.
The 10th National Coffee Summit will be held on October 24, 2017, at SMX Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City. For inquiries, you may go to www.philcoffeeboard.com or call 0908-883-1218. Registration is ongoing and there are limited seats. Early bird rate applies until Sept 30.