DA, Nestlé Philippines, Inc. to revitalize Robusta coffee in Mindanao

The DA-High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) and DA-Davao Region, in partnership with Nestlé Philippines, Inc., held a workshop to finalize the Mindanao Coffee Project anchored on the Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap 2021-2025.

Focusing on the top coffee-producing areas in Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, and SOCCSKSARGEN, the project aims to increase the yield and income of coffee farmers in the target regions in Mindanao.

Further, this will upskill the farmer beneficiaries in coffee production and enable them to produce quality coffee beans that are at par with the standards of Nestlé.

Arthur Baria, representative from Nestlé Philippines, in his message, highlighted the mission of Nescafe to help coffee farmers improve the quantity and quality of their coffee yield in a manner that is sustainable and profitable to both farmers and Nestlé. 

He mentioned that there is a need to increase coffee yield and enhance production management in the Philippines. In order to solve this problem, he emphasized the importance of regenerative agriculture, genetic diversification, production technology, and research in coffee production. 

Representatives from Nestlé Philippines and DA-HVCDP presented the Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap from 2021-2025. The roadmap visualizes to boost the local coffee production and enable the country to go beyond the 15% sufficiency level while providing a defined path to  equip farmers with knowledge and skills that would increase their production and income. 

The development of the roadmap will also provide an established database containing information such as volume of production and current buying prices that may be accessed by partners. 

Meanwhile, representatives from DA-regional offices in Mindanao also presented their respective coffee R4D plans and projects for 2023-2024.

DA-Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Center OIC-regional technical director for Research and Regulation Cora A. Dumayaca underscored that the Mindanao Coffee Project has a potential to increase the robusta coffee production in Mindanao in the coming years.

In relation to this, the University of Southern Mindanao is now working on a proposal to evaluate cost-effective fertilization options for enhanced productivity of robusta coffee in Mindanao. 

Officials and representatives from Nestlé, DA-High Value Crops Development Program, different DA regional field offices in Mindanao, and the University of Southern Mindanao participated in the workshop. Alvin L. Fontanil of DA-BAR-Research Program Development Division led the bureau’s delegation. DA-BAR will provide support in the R4D component of the Mindanao coffee project. (### Ma. Eloisa H. Aquino and Jethro I. Seas)