BALANGA CITY, Bataan – About P18 million worth of high-quality coffee beans are harvested annually in the upland villages of the province.
Ms. Cindy Mendoza Jaime, trade and industry specialist of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Bataan, said some 1,500 hectares of land, most of which intercropping with high value-crops, are located in the periphery of the scenic Baguio City like atmosphere of the Bataan National Park in the towns of Orani, Abucay, Samal, Hermosa, Bagac, Mariveles and Morong.
Agricultural survey shows that only 255 hectares out of 1,500 hectares of land are identified as entirely coffee farms with a capacity of 1,700 coffee trees per hectare category.
Ms. Jaime explained that among the registered coffee growers, the Tala Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TAMCO) in Orani produces 30 tons of high grade coffee beans which the Cooperative sells to Nestle’ Philippines, one of the leading coffee manufacturing firms in the country.
She cited the coffee planting expertise of upland farmers from Cavite and Batangas who migrated to Bataan in the early 50’s opened the lush forest into productive coffee farming business. The mountain ranges of the two Southern Luzon provinces of Cavite and Batangas are almost similar to the Bataan topography.
Ms. Jaime added that the Southern Luzon farmers brought with them four (4) types of coffee beans namely, Robusta, Excelsa, Arabica and Liberica which they found more adapted to the soil and temperate conditions of the locality.
Aside from regular visits from agricultural technicians, the DTI has launched shared service facility (SSF) programs providing latest equipment for the processing, drying, roasting and grinding of newly-harvested coffee to a cooperative of Barangay Tala, Orani town to further boost the production quality.
Ms. Jaime also said that a number of fast foods, eateries and hotels in the province are now using top-quality coffee beans harvested from the Bataan farms.