Philippine Government Eyes 6 Provinces in Visayas, Mindanao for Coffee Farm Expansion

The government has identified Davao del Sur and Bukidnon as among six provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao where the opportunity of expanding coffee production is higher.

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Manuel Marriz B. Agbon of the National Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Development said that Bukidnon still has about 400 hectares that can be planted with coffee while Davao del Sur has at least 100 hectares.

The initiative is a joint program under three government departments, namely Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Environment and Natural Resources.

Four of the provinces eyed for coffee expansion are in the Visayas namely Bohol with 285 hectares, Leyte with 254 hectares and Cebu and Negros combined with 48 hectares.

As of last year, there were 121,300 hectares of farms planted with coffee with Davao and Soccsksargen (South Cotabato-Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos) areas, having the biggest farm sizes. Davao Region has 25,847 hectares while Soccsksargen has 25,171 hectares.

Last year, the land area planted with coffee decreased by 1,025 hectares in Davao Region compared to 2009 mainly because of land conversion as farmers planted higher-value crops.

Quoting data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Jennifer E. Remoquillo, acting head of the Department of Agriculture’s High Value Crop Development Program, said production of coffee went down by 7.4% last year compared with the previous year not only because of land conversion, but also because of continuous rains during the second quarter of the year.

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