NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, September 3, 2021 – On August 27 and September 1, 40 members of Menchaca, Malanog, Dolis Farmers’ Association (MMDFA) were equipped with knowledge in Coffee Production and Processing and capacitating farmers in project management.
Under FY 2021, the group is identified as beneficiary of the Php 540,960 Coffee Production Project of the Department of Agriculture’s Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program.
The inputs include 80 coffee seedlings of robusta variety, 2,400 bags of inorganic fertilizer, 1,200 bags of urea, 600 bags of organic fertilizer, and every piece of equipment they need for farming coffee.
About the Training
Marjo Balinas, Agriculturist II and Provincial Coordinator for Coffee from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), discussed modern coffee production techniques which include three phases.
For the first phase, the farmers were taught on proper planting of coffee, nursery establishment, and farm maintenance such as proper pruning, application of fertilizer, pesticide, and fungicide as well as monitoring of abnormalities that the plants may incur from pests and diseases.
In the second phase, Mr. Balinas discussed harvesting, drying, roasting, and grinding of coffee beans.
For the third phase, farmers were trained on simple barista, packaging, and labelling as well as strategies on marketing and display of products to different agricultural events.
“Ang vital role sang training amo ang makabalo ang mga farmers sang proper way of planting sang kape. We are enhancing their knowledge para indi nila mapabay-an ang coffee production project nga ginhatag sa ila sang SAAD… Until such time makabunga ang ila kape kag makahatag sa ila sang income-generating livelihood,” said Mr. Balinas.
(The vital role of the training was to equip farmers with the knowledge on the proper way of planting coffee. We are enhancing their knowledge so they could take good care of the coffee production project they received from the SAAD… Until such time that their coffee would bear fruit and would give them an income-generating livelihood.)
The OPA coffee expert also reminded the beneficiaries that planting coffee seedlings should be done during the cloudy days, in June through August, during the wet season. He said that farmers should avoid planting seedlings when the conditions are windy or hot and dry or during the hottest time of the day.
Elna Dayanan, MMDFA President, said they were inspired to grow the crop after seeing the bright potential of coffee in both global and local markets, plus the growing consumption among young people nowadays.
According to Ms. Dayanan, at least 12 of her members already planted their coffee seedlings in their respective farms which are about 300 square meters each. The remaining beneficiaries, meanwhile, are set to plant their seedlings in mid-September.
“Dako ang amon pasalamat na naapil kami sa programa sang SAAD dinhi sa amon asosasyon. Ang paghatag sa amon sang coffee planting materials ug sang mga fertilizers dako gid mahatag nga hinabang sa amon… Usa ka opportunity nga ginhatag sa amon nga maapil kami sa training para mapalambo namin ang amon nahibaw-an,” said Ms. Dayanan.
(We are very thankful that our association was included in the SAAD program. The provision of coffee seedlings, planting materials and fertilizers would be a great help to us. It was also a great opportunity for us to be able to participate in the training so we could enhance our knowledge)
To note, MMDFA has 60 registered members, 40 of whom got selected to partake in the SAAD’s Coffee Production Project. The selection process, according to Ms. Dayanan, involves an assessment of each member’s capability to manage the coffee production such as the readiness of their farms.
Coffee Production in Negros Occidental
Over the years, Negros Occidental’s coffee industry continues to flourish. The richness of the soil and suitable climate in the area have produced many coffee processing enterprises in the province which are already benefiting with an assured market for their coffee products.
Based on OPA’s data, roasted ground coffee is usually priced around Php 400/kilogram (kg). For every one hectare of productive coffee trees, farmers can produce about 400-500kg of first-class Robusta green coffee beans (GCB), which they could sell at Php 160/kg.
At an average production of 500kg per hectare, the farmers can receive an income of Php 80,000 for sorted GCB. ###
Writer: Christ John Gamarcha/DA-SAAD 6