USM, Nestlè Phl Robusta coffee project monitored

To ensure the sustainability of growing Robusta coffee and improve its productivity, the University of the Southern Mindanao in collaboration with Nestlé Philippines, DA-High Value Crops Development Program, and DA-Bureau of Soils and Water Management implemented a one-year project that will evaluate various cost-effective organic and inorganic fertilization options. 

On 11 July 2023, DA-BAR’s Program Monitoring, Evaluation, and Linkaging Division conducted a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activity in three project sites: Maramag, Bukidnon; Sen. Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kuldarat; and Kabacan, North Cotabato. The M&E activity was attended by the USM project team led by Dr. Adeflor G. Garcia and Leandreux D. Ocasion, and Nestlé Philippines public affairs executive Donnel Jun M. Tiedra and ambassador.

During the said activity, the M&E team recommended the proper documentation and reporting of baseline information such as the agro-climatic characteristics of project sites and historical yield, as well as the analysis of organic fertilizers included in the treatments. 

Funded by DA-BAR, the project is expected to increase farm productivity and yield by one kilogram green coffee beans per tree, capacitate farmers on the fertilizer technology generated, and determine the fertilizer requirement, soil and plant nutrient associated in yield and agronomic performance, and cost-effective fertilization strategy.

Nestlé Philippines assisted in the identification of the project sites. The experiment will be done in an established three- to four-year-old Robusta coffee farm owned by smallholder farmers, which includes Nestlé Philippines- and DA-HVCDP-assisted coffee growers across Mindanao. After the project completion, Nestlé Philippines will adopt the fertilizer recommendations and disseminate it to their assisted farmers. (### Rena S. Hermoso)