CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is taking aggressive moves to keep Mindanao as the country's top producer of coffee, the Philippine News Agency said on Tuesday.
Enriqueto Natividad, DA cluster officer for Mindanao, said contrary to common beliefs that coffee is produced in Batangas, Cavite or Bulacan, Sultan Kudarat is the Philippines' largest coffee producer.
He said Mindanao's annual coffee production is over 60 percent of the country's total output.
In Davao Region, Laak town in Davao del Norte province is the biggest coffee producer. It was also learned that because of the large annual coffee output of the region, one of the country's biggest coffee manufacturers has put up a research farm in Davao del Norte.
Another large coffee producer in Mindanao is Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur provinces where an unusually large coffee production is being recorded annually. Both provinces cultivate high-grade coffee varieties that include Arabica, Robusta and Excelsa.
In fact, a group of monks in Bukidnon’s Malaybalay City started producing commercial quantity of a special blend of coffee derived mainly from the Arabica strain, which is commonly known as the "Miarayon coffee," because it is largely cultivated in the Miarayon region of Talakag, Bukidnon.
Moreover, Natividad said DA is gearing for the self-sufficiency of the Philippine coffee industry by 2010.
He added in spite of Mindanao's coffee production, the country currently continues to import over 50 percent of its coffee consumption.
One of the aggressive actions being undertaken by the DA is to propagate coffee plants.
In the previous year, the DA has released over 400,000 planting materials to various farms in Mindanao, as it expanded the area planted to coffee by over 1,200 hectares.
Aside from being self sufficient, DA also hopes to establish Mindanao as the dominant coffee producing area in the country.