The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is allotting some 86,000 hectares of upland areas for development into coffee plantations under the National Greening Program (NGP).
This was stressed today by DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje saying the inclusion of coffee as among the high-value crops that will be planted under the NGP is in keeping with the food security objective of the program.
“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),” Paje said.
According to Paje, 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 Region 2 and 10,000 hectares in Region 12.
Regions 3, 4A, 4B and 11 have 5,000 hectares each; Regions 5,7 and 8 have 4,000 hectares each; 2, 000 hectares each for Regions 9 and 10); and 1,000 hectares each for Regions 1, 6 and 13.
Last year, Paje said that some 2,554 hectares have been planted with 1.5 million coffee seedlings under the NGP.
NCI is a complementary mechanism that combines DENR’s resources and expertise with those of DA and DAR to achieve sustainable rural growth.
“NGP’s efforts to energize the local coffee industry complements DA and DAR’s strides to enable our local farmers to turn to high value crops like coffee and eventually remove the need for imported coffee beans, mostly from Indonesia and Vietnam, to meet local demand,” Paje said.
Paje expressed optimism that the areas identified will have a substantial input to the government’s effort to replace its coffee importation which, in 2010, already stood at 26,600 metric tons per data of the DA-Philippine Agricultural Development and Commercial Corp. (PADCC).##