Thinking of starting your own coffee plantation in the Philippines? This article is for you.
Owning a coffee plantation is no easy task. With the ever-present risk of diseases and pests, unpredictable weather conditions due to climate change, and the current economic crisis due to COVID-19, there’s a lot to consider.
So, it’s important to prepare as much as you can. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about starting a coffee plantation in the Philippines.
Coffee Plantation: Economic Importance
Coffee is an important commodity and is a highly popular beverage around the world. Generally, small producers in developing countries make their living growing and producing coffee.
The total consumption of coffee is over 2.25 billion cups in the world every day! In the Philippines, the total coffee consumption was about 3.4 million 60kg. bags.
Approximately 90% of coffee production occurs in developing countries; however, maximum consumption mainly occurs in industrialized economies. Coffee is one of the major agricultural export commodities around the world.
Currently, the coffee industry has a commodity chain that involves producers, roasters, importers, middlemen exporters, and retailers before reaching consumers.
According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO), about 25 million families rely on growing and selling coffee beans, most of which are small-scale farmers. Apart from the retail market, coffee shops are major consumers of coffee.
Starting a Coffee Plantation: Tips and Considerations
Starting a coffee plantation may seem daunting and overwhelming at first, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can succeed. You will need to work on your business plan.
You should know the growth requirements of coffee and the things you need in the coffee plantation.
Conduct a market study to know your competition. There are established coffee bean companies out there – can you compete with them?
If you’re thinking about starting your own coffee plantation in the Philippines, here are some tips and considerations you should keep in mind.
Choosing a Site and Preparing the Plantation
If a coffee tree is to grow well, it needs – more than anything – a deep, permeable soil that has good structure.
Choosing and Clearing the Site
- The soil must have good structure so that the roots can penetrate well.
- The soil must be deep, so that the roots can go down deep.
- The land should be cleared. Remove weeds and unnecessary trees that can’t be used as shade.
- Newly opened area for planting should be intensively cleaned.
- Never plant coffee trees in soil which has a hard layer. If you do, make sure to break up the hard layer.
- To provide a good room for root development, the hole should be dug at least 60cm x 60cm.
- The holes should be backfilled with top soil. Then, add compost.
- Ideally, the holes should be left for two months before planting – this allows nutrients to be available for the new tree.
- For Arabica. Planting distances should be about 2m x 2m (monocropping). If it will be intercropped, distance should be 2m x 3m or 2m by 5m.
- For Robusta. Planting distances should be 2m x 3m (monocropping). If it will be intercropped, distance should be 3m x 3m.
- For Libera and Excelsa. Planting distances should be 3m x 4m (monocropping). If it will be intercropped, distance should be 4m x 4m.
Transplanting of Seedlings
When you are ready to transplant coffee bean seedlings, here are some factors you should consider.
- Plant coffee seedlings during cloudy days, particularly in June through August, during the wet season. Avoid planting seedlings when the conditions are hot, dry, or wind – or during the hottest time of the day.
- Before planting, the seedlings should be completely watered in the bags.
- The plastic bag must be removed when planting
- The seedlings should be placed upright in the hole – don’t plant at an angle.
The Bottom Line
Starting a coffee plantation may seem daunting and overwhelming at first, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can succeed.
Hopefully, this article was able to give you some insight about starting a coffee plantation in the Philippines. Good luck!