BENGUET State University through the Institute of Highland Farming Systems and Agroforestry (IHFSA) conducted a research project aimed to contribute to the sustainability of the Arabica coffee industry, particularly on organic production, in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Philippines.
The climatic environment of CAR is highly favorable for Arabica coffee production and its coffee green beans product is recognized as excellent quality both in the local and international market.
An important specific contribution of this study to the coffee industry is the availability and conservation of Arabica coffee varieties that can be adapted for organic production coupled with drop protection management practices.
This research identified and characterized the existing Arabica coffee varieties for organically-produced coffee green beans in Mountain Province, CAR. This province is a major producer of Arabica coffee in this region.
Characterization of the Arabica coffee collection was done on the phenology, relationships and diversity. The conservation and production practices of Arabica coffee genetic resources were also documented.
Meanwhile, the pests and diseases were collected and identified including their occurrence and severity.
Results revealed five Arabica coffee varieties cultivated for organic production in Mountain Province. These are Granica, Mundo Novo, Bourbon Red, San Ramon, and Typica. There were 101 coffee accessions.
Typica variety which used to be the original variety grown in the Province had the highest accession while San Ramon has the lowest.
All the said varieties are shrub. The climatic environment of the production area was found highly suitable for Arabica coffee production and the Agroforestry farming system is commonly practiced.
In the said study, pests observed were scale insects (Coccus viridis Green), coffee berry borer (Hypothemus hampei Ferrari) and stem borer (Zeuzera coffea Nietner).
Meanwhile, the plant diseases were coffee leaf rust (Hemeleia vastratix B. and Br.), sooty mold (Capnodium brasilensis Put.), brown eye spot (Cercospora coffeicola Berk. And Cke), coffee berry diseases (Colletotrichum kahawae Waller and Bridge), die back (Colletotrichum spp. Noack), brown leaf spot (Phoma costaricensis Ech.) and anthracnose (Colletotrichum coffeanum Noack).
It was found that these pests and diseases had minimal infestation and infection to the Arabica coffee trees due to the biodiversity of the Agroforestry Production system being practiced in the province.
Based from the research results, IHFSA is challenged to integrate the findings to enrich the module that it is using in training farmers and other enthusiasts on coffee production. (Valentino Macanes, Belinda Tad-awan, Lome Barrozo, Von Amado, and Heinji Laoyan)