The year of 2021, much like the previous, was all about adapting. In the Philippines, the five-year Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE) project achieved industry milestones by adapting its approaches, despite the challenges of COVID-19. PhilCAFE, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, adjusted its plans and activities to comply with the ever-changing public health protocols. Its participants, who are key players in the country’s coffee sector, demonstrated their flexibility and resilience in the face of those changes.

Below are PhilCAFE’s highlights of the year:

Celebrating International Coffee Day

Participants of PhilCAFE celebrated International Coffee Day on October 1 with a series of events designed to promote Philippine coffee among local and international buyers. Together with the Philippine Coffee Guild, PhilCAFE organized a virtual discussion through the Kape’t Kwentuhan online series that featured interviews with coffee sector players about the farm-to-market experience.

Thriving Coffee Plant Nurseries

PhilCAFE helped establish both commercial and household coffee plant nurseries. In 2021, these nurseries produced 539,877 seedlings in 36 nurseries. Monitoring and nursery visits conducted by the PhilCAFE team showed that nursery owners successfully adopted the recommended good agricultural practices, including the proper use of fertilizer and pest and disease management.

48 partnerships with producer organizations, academic institutions, government agencies, and private sector companies established to enhance the coffee sector

ACDI/VOCA Coffee Experts Guide Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism

ACDI/VOCA provided experts in the coffee vale chain and agribusiness development for a training of 17 Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism (MTIT) representatives in December 2021. This came at the request of the MTIT of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The result was an updated coffee value chain framework for the region, including the Province of Sulu and Maguindanao, and plans for the region’s coffee production and marketing targets.

4,830 coffee farmers learned good agricultural practices through 965 trainings

Growing International Buyers

Following the success of the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC) in June 2021, international buyers are increasingly interested in Philippine coffee. Coffee farmers supported by PhilCAFE from Bansalan, Davao del Sur and Sigay, Ilocos Sur garnered the top cupping scores for Specialty Arabica and Fine Robusta categories, respectively, at the prestigious annual competition. In 2021, more than 5.7 metric tons of Philippine coffees, amounting to $44,152, sold to international markets. Of that number, more than 1.5 metric tons sold were PCQC entries.

Partnership formed with Kalinga State University to strengthen coffee production in Kalinga and neighboring coffee-producing provinces in Northern Luzon

Nine Sites Established for On-Farm Technology Trials

PhilCAFE partnered with World Coffee Research to create nine on-farm technology trial sites in coffee growing areas of Luzon. Using real farming conditions, these sites helped generate data to identify which coffee varieties and farming practices produced the highest returns for farmers.

100 young coffee farmers trained in leadership, farm maintenance, and coffee production

Finance Distributed to Coffee Producers and Roasters

In June, two Philippine coffee cooperative groups received PHP two million in agricultural credit from the Land Bank of the Philippines thanks to a collaborative effort between PhilCAFE and the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s CONVERGE project. In 2021, PhilCAFE facilitated the release of PHP 24,033,237-worth of credit to nine producer organizations and two coffee roasters to help with labor, equipment, and more.

14 gender, equity, and social inclusion trainings and workshops held for more than 350 coffee sector stakeholders

Grants to Support Coffee Farmers

Out of nine proposals submitted, three Philippine organizations met the criteria to receive a fixed-amount sub-award from PhilCAFE. These applicants will use the grants to digitize their operations, bundle support services to link farmers to markets, improve their sustainability, and boost their productivity through “internet of things” technology.

Strengthening of Producer Organizations

PhilCAFE facilitated a strategic planning workshop for the Talaingod Coffee Growers Association with support from Department of Agriculture and Department Trade and Industry representatives. The producer organization and two affiliated youth groups came out of the workshop with a three-year strategic plan, vision, and mission statement.

Learn more about our work in the Philippines.

Learn more about Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise.