Northern Mindanao struggles as coffee farming declines despite national increase

Froilan Gallardo

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Northern Mindanao struggles as coffee farming declines despite national increase

POST-HARVEST. A coffee farmer works at a Robusta coffee post-harvest facility in Sarangani province.

courtesy of Renny Boy Takyawan

The shortage of quality seedlings hinders coffee farmers in the region

BUKIDNON, Philippines – Coffee bean production increased modestly by 1.8% this year, but agriculture officials said farmers in Northern Mindanao are cultivating less and less of this high-value crop.

According to the agriculture department, farmers nationwide produced 2.77 thousand metric tons in June 2023, marking a 1.8% increase from the 2022 recorded production of 2.72 thousand metric tons.

However, Mindanao, which contributes 65% of the nationwide coffee bean production, faced setbacks as the land dedicated to coffee production decreased from 111.39 thousand hectares in 2022 to 111.19 thousand hectares.

Carlota Madriaga, the technical director of the Department of Agriculture in Region X (DA-X), said Northern Mindanao farmers struggle to find high-quality seedlings for producing top-notch coffee beans.

“We wanted to support the farmers by distributing quality seedlings, but we couldn’t find a reliable supplier,” said Madriaga, adding that they even had to call off a public bidding in June due to the lack of suppliers.

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is emerging as Mindanao’s top coffee producer this year, contributing 710.23 metric tons, equivalent to a 25.6% share of the total coffee production.

The Soccsksargen region followed closely with an output of 658.86 metric tons, and the Davao Region produced 619.92 metric tons.

Madriaga said Mindanao farmers face a multitude of challenges, including issues with credit, post-harvest facilities, low yields, and an aging farming population. – Rappler.com

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