Coffee production in Negros Occidental gets a boost from prov’l gov’t
BACOLOD CITY — The Negros Occidental provincial government is allocating P16 million for the development and expansion of Robusta coffee production in the province.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said on Tuesday, August 30, assistance will also be given to four coffee producing communities in La Castellana, Cadiz City, La Carlota City and Sipalay City.
Diaz said only eight metric tons of coffee is being produced annually on about 8,000 hectares which is very low and is barely 10 percent of what is expected.
The coffee plantations are operated by people’s organizations and non-government organizations, some of whom have Special Agreements on Protected Areas.
“There are plans to rejuvenate some areas and to plant better varieties, with focus on Robusta, which hopefully will become the trademark of Negros’ coffee,” he said.
The P16 million to be allocated next year for coffee development will come from the 20 percent development fund of the Negros Occidental provincial government.
Diaz said they have to rethink where to plant as some coffee plantations are located in the protected area of the Northern Negros Natural Park.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources earlier allowed the planting of plants in the area as part of its greening program but some of the plants there were no longer productive because of age.
“The problem is we cannot prune trees in the protected zone,” Diaz said.
“So if P16 million is spent for rejuvenation, why not use it to plant coffee in unused marginal lands,” he added.
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