86,000 hectares for coffee plantation allotted under greening program

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

MANILA -- Upland areas in Cordillera, Cagayan Valley and Central Mindanao will soon host the majority of coffee plantations under the National Greening Program, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said Wednesday.

Of the 86,000 hectares allotted for coffee farming, around 25,000 hectares are located in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); 12,000 hectares in Cagayan Valley and 10,000 hectares in Soccksargen (South Cotabato-North Cotabato-Koronadal-Sarangani-General Santos)

Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Davao region have 5,000 hectares each; Bicol, Central and Eastern Visayas have 4,000 hectares each; 2, 000 hectares each for Zamboanga Peninsula and Northern Mindanao; and 1,000 hectares each for Ilocos, Western Visayas and Caraga.

“The National Greening Program is not solely reforestation but it is also conceived to boost food production, and coffee is one crop that we know we can be self sufficient by putting more government inputs to local coffee farming through the National Convergence Initiative (NCI),” Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said.

NCI is a complementary mechanism that combines resources and expertise of the DENR with those of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to achieve sustainable rural growth.

Last year, Paje said that some 2,554 hectares have been planted with 1.5 million coffee seedlings under the NGP.

Aside from providing income for farmers, Paje said the increased production will eventually remove the need for imported coffee beans, mostly from Indonesia and Vietnam, to meet local demand.

The Philippines imported 26,600 tons of coffee in 2010, according to the data of the DA-Philippine Agricultural Development and Commercial Corp. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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