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86,000 hectares for coffee farms


Published : Wednesday, July 04, 2012 00:00 [ manilatimes.net ]
Written by : JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has identified some 86,000 hectares of upland areas that can be developed into coffee plantations under the National Greening Program (NGP).

In a statement, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said that the inclusion of coffee, along with other high-value crops, in the NGP will help boost the government’s effort to attain food security.

“NGP 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.

Of the total 86,000hectares, around 25,000 hectares are located in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); 12,000 hectares in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) and 10,000 hectares in Region 12 (Soccskargen).

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 the departments of Agriculture (DA), and Agrarian Reform (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.

He expressed optimism that the areas identified will have a substantial input to the government’s effort to replace its coffee importation which, in 2010, stood at 26,600 metric tons based on data from the Philippine Agricultural Development and Commercial Corp., an agency under the DA.
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