MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture has allocated P192 million to boost coffee and cocoa production in the country through a new plantation and several agribusiness zones.
The agency said in a statement it has partnered with Nestle Philippines in putting up a mother plant garden in Cagayan Valley expected to produce 200,000 Robusta coffee seedlings a year.
With regard to cocoa, the Agriculture department and the Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines will be establishing five Cacao Agribusiness Zones Development projects in Davao City, Compostela Valley, Zamboanga del Norte, Palawan and Camarines Sur.
These agribusiness zones will house fermentation and drying facilities, nurseries, quality assurance equipment, and warehouses, among others.
"The Philippines apparently has to embrace the mocha trend as the craze on coffee as a social drink has turned to more mixtures of coffee with different flavors. This is particularly coffee mixed with chocolate as a cocoa product or known as mocha," the Agriculture department said.
The Philippines imports about 100,000 metric tons of coffee beans worth P10 billion annually mainly from Vietnam, and some 20,000 MT of cocoa beans worth $42 million from Africa.
"The brisk coffee and cocoa consumption growth is prompting the industry to encourage local production," the agency noted.