Issue of May 14, 2017
Mt. Province

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Organic fertilizers improve coffee growth and revenue
by Chamanei C. Elias

IFUGAO KAPE --  Coffee is a top commodity in most provinces of the region, making it the One Town, One Product of the Cordillera. The Ifugao Kape Roasting and Packing Center in the Lagawe, Ifugao produces well-blended coffee products, a combination of Arabica beans from the neighboring province of Benguet and Robusta coffee beans, which is main variety available in Ifugao. -- Ofelia Empian


Coffee growers in the Cordillera are being encouraged to use organic fertilizers on seedling productions for better growth and sustained profit in the future.

This was underscored in the study conducted by Emilia Dayap and Von Amado of Benguet State University, who also established that the use of solid and liquid organic fertilizers improve the growth of Arabica coffee seedlings.

Their study also shows that formulated organic solid fertilizers (FOSF) and formulated organic liquid fertilizers (FOLF) improve the resistance of Arabic coffee seeds to pest and diseases, as well as improve the quality of the crop.

These two types of organic fertilizers are likewise cost efficient compared to the widely available commercial fertilizers.

FOSF can be produced using locally available materials such as coffee hull, alnus leaves, and pig manure while FOLF can be prepared out of compost tea using sunflower, calliandra, and coffee pulp substrates.

FOSF is mixed with soil in pots where Arabica coffee seedlings are planted while FOLF is sprayed every 15 days to the coffee seedlings as a supplementary fertilizer.

The study stated the use of organic fertilizers helps in sustaining soil moisture and promotes environment conservation and preservation.

Based on the study, more than 3,000 organically grown Arabica coffee seedlings can be produced for every 100 grams per pot of formulated organic solid fertilizers.

Coffee production in the Cordillera, the Department of Agriculture said, is a multi-million industry as the best Arabica coffee variety is grown in the hinterlands of the region.

In 2012, an estimate of 6,800 hectares in the Cordillera are planted with coffee varieties, especially Arabica and Robusta.

In terms of production that year, Kalinga contributed bulk of the production with 3,898 metric tons followed by Ifugao with a share of 1,061.35 metric tons then Benguet with 491.70 MT then Mountain Province with 155.35 MT.

In 2010, the High Value Commercial Crops of DA reported it is targeting some 40,000 hectares of land in the Cordillera to be planted with coffee plants until 2015 with projected P1 billion annual revenue once these plants produce coffee for commercial purposes.

In 2011, the country produced a total of 39.55 metric tons of coffee which is 4.3 percent lower than 41.35 MT output in 2010.

DA reported that since coffee was introduced in 1740, it remained one of the country’s leading export commodities and it remains a profitable venture with people from all walks of life drinking coffee.

Several years ago, DA reported that some 300,000 Filipinos depended on the coffee industry while an estimate of 25 million people worldwide earned their living from this economically important crop.

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