For years coffee farmers has been content to produce and sell green coffee beans – these are the dried, hulled and sorted coffee seeds. This may be due to lack of knowledge, post-harvest facilities and interest. But green coffee beans fetch a smaller value on the market compared to its roasted and grounded form.
Coffee farmers from three farmer associations coming from the municipalities of Maasim, Kalamansig and Lebak were given a firsthand view that roasting and grinding coffee is a lucrative value addition to coffee farming. This happened last June 24, 2016 at the KERA Coffee Roasting and Coffee Shop at Kidapawan City, North Cotabato.
Miss Shiela Liung, Manager, explained how the business started and its many challenges, especially in marketing, before being able to sell its own brand of roasted and grounded coffee.
“Ang pagiging coffee grower ay isang business, dahil kung naglagay ka ng inputs dapat ikaw ay may output. Kung hindi mo ito gagastusan panu ka kikita? Sa pagtatanim ng kape pwedeng umunlad ang iyong buhay.” Ruben Aquino, Kalamansig Coffee Industry Development Council (COINDECO)
Kalamansig’s COINDECO, an association of Coffee Farmers, had for the past years received different coffee post harvest facilities through non profit organizations and government agencies, that aims to increase their income through increasing the quality of their harvested coffee beans. But most farmer members treat coffee production as any normal farming process without much interest in the cycle of coffee tree maintenace. As long as the tree produces fruits then it is good to go.
Through an exposure training at Nestle’s Coffee Plantlet Production and Training Center at Tagum City last June 21 to 23, 2016, members from COINDECO together with three other coffee farmer associations were introduced to proper coffee tree propagation, management and its impact on harvested coffee quality.
In order to achieve greater yields with the best quality green coffee beans the farmer participants realized that a coffee tree must follow a rigorous and maintained process. Post-harvest is not the only critical point in coffee production but all of the stages in the tree’s life cycle. Better outputs result from better inputs.
This discipline can only be achieved if the farmer puts in mind that coffee farming is a business. And just like any business enterprise, profit (its main goal), is dependent on how the business is managed.
"Reducing rural poverty through Agroentrepreneurship" is a scale-up intervention among coffee flagship groups of the former FARM Project.