Nestle Philippines, Inc. is planning to establish a coffee processing plant in Iloilo province and has started working with the provincial government to develop nearby farms to supply the plant.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Head, Raul L. Lorilla said the Nestle Philippines’ office has initiated coordination with the local government for coffee production. “I think this is now the time for us to collaborate with other private or (government) agencies in order for us to improve the marketing of coffee,” said Mr. Lorilla.
He said Nestle's proposal complements the goal of Iloilo province of setting up large-scale coffee and cacao plantations. The provincial government has allotted an initial Pesos 10 million (US$190,000) supplemental budget for the expansion or development of new coffee and cacao farms.
DENR is also planning to develop 3,000 hectares of land in Janiuay, Calinog and Lambunao for coffee plantations. PENRO has also requested the DENR central office and JICA to consider cacao as an additional commodity under the program.
Iloilo, a mainly agricultural province, currently has the largest coffee plantation area in the Western Visayas Region with 2,116 hectares. Coffee farmers, however, have previously called for assistance for new crops to replace aging and unproductive plants as well as the setting up of more modern post-harvest facilities.