MANILA -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is optimistic that the local production of coffee will increase and coffee products will be more globally competitive with the Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap 2017-2022, which was signed last month by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said the DTI is working closely with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to implement the coffee industry roadmap.

Under the five-year period roadmap, some 213,788 hectares of land is expected to be made available for coffee farming. At the same time, the program is expected to bring about an increase in the average yield to one ton of coffee beans per hectare from the current 0.33 tons.

Coffee production at the end of the implementation of the roadmap is targeted at 214,626 metric ton (MT) from the current annual output of 37,000 MT, according to Lopez. This would make the country’s coffee self-sufficiency level increase to 161 percent from the current 41.6 percent level.

“We have to have a patriotic drive to encourage demand for Philippine coffee. We are encouraging local producers to expand coffee production to create the demand,” said Lopez.

The country produces four varieties of coffee -- the robusta, arabica, excelsa, and liberica, it was explained.

The DTI noted the huge local demand for coffee products. The Philippines is fifth largest consumer of coffee globally, behind the European Union, United States, Brazil, and Japan. Domestic demand is expected to further increase driven by the growing consumption of coffee by younger generation.

About 90 percent of coffee in the country are imported, which amounted to PHP12 billion. This made the country the fourth largest importer of coffee in the world.

Lopez also assured local coffee farmers that DTI has enabling mechanisms to support the industry.

“Through DTI’s 7Ms (Mindset change, Mastery, Mentoring, Money, Machine, and Models), we will continue to provide enabling mechanisms to empower coffee farmers and help in addressing the challenges in the industry,” the trade chief said.

Aside from coffee industry, other agribusiness sectors that completed their roadmaps include cacao and tablea, carrageenan, condiments, processed fruit, processed meat, and processed shrimp.

The DTI urges industries to craft their own roadmaps that will complement the country’s Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy (CNIS), which aims to integrate manufacturing, agriculture and services.

The industry roadmaps and the CNIS also seek to address gaps in the supply chain and link Philippine industries to the global value chain. (PNA)