Coffee processing centers planned


Source: mb.com.ph

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), an agency of the Department of Agriculture, is set to establish at least 21 coffee processing centers in areas where coffee is grown as a cash crop.

The 21 coffee processing facilities are to be established from now up to the year 2016. Each coffee processing center will cost around P4.9 million. The total cost will amount to P102.90 million.

Each coffee processing facility will produce ground coffee of different blends from the coffee beans produced by farmers and growers, and can process 60 kilos per hour at 80% efficiency, or 480 kilos of ground coffee per eight-hour shift. The production process involves milling, cleaning, sorting, grading, hot air batch drying, hot air convection roasting, grinding and blending-mixing.

Thirteen of the 21 coffee processing centers will be established in the Cordillera Autonomous Region where there are many farmers who are growing the crop organically or free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Four coffee processing centers are being eyed for Cagayan Valley, two for Caraga, and one each for the Calabarzon (Region 4-A) and Eastern Visayas.

The location of each coffee processing center was carefully studied to make sure that these are strategically located in areas where coffee farming is a major activity, and where there are more farmers and businessmen taking up coffee farming, according to Cachuela.

PhilMech will involve the farmers, local government units, the private sector, nongovernment organizations and foreign aid donors in the establishment of the 21 coffee processing centers.

PhilMech Executive Director Ricardo L. Cachuela said the establishment of the coffee processing centers is the agency’s contribution to boosting the local coffee industry.

Cachuela said that coffee was once one of the top crops being grown by farmers, but now there is revived interest in this beverage crop because of its high demand abroad. On top of that, Philippine-based companies that process coffee can source their raw materials from the Philippines given that more farmers and investors have started to show great interest in coffee farming.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala believes that there is a strong potential for coffee farming in the Philippines because coffee has a ready market in the country as well as abroad. With that in mind, PhilMech aims to address the postharvest aspect of coffee farming to improve the income level of farmers and agribusinessmen who grow the crop.

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