ILOILO CITY – Sen. Cynthia Villar is pushing for the growth of the coffee, cacao, and coconut industries.
SEN. Cynthia Villar talks to the media at the Coffee, Cacao, and Coconut (CoCaNut) Congress in Iloilo City. (Tara Yap)
“There is a need to establish a sustainable and competitive coffee, cacao, coconut industries,” said Villar.
“These are high-value crops,” said Villar during the opening of the Coffee, Cacao, and Coconut (CoCaNut) Congress in this city on Wednesday, November 8.
Villar noted that the country is still dependent on coffee imports.
“The Philippine coffee production remains relatively low and is unable to meet local demand with a production of 62,062 metric tons of green coffee beans in 2019 and a demand of 100,000 metric tons or just 32.40 percent is locally produced,” said Villar.
“But the good news is that the Philippines’ warm and humid climate provides an ideal setting for cultivating coffee. Similarly, cacao has very good potential for increased income for farmers,” Villar told the CoCaNut delegates.
Citing the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Villar said the country produced 9,341 metric tons of cacao beans in 2020 and a demand of 50,000 metric tons or equivalent to only 18.69 percent.
While the Philippines is the second largest producer of coconut in Southeast Asia, Villar urged the improvement of production that can bring more income to coconut farmers.
The first ever CoCaNut Congress until November 10 is hosted by the Panay Organization for Progressive Agriculture (POPA) Cooperative chaired by Dr. Louie Tirador.