Saturday, May 18Food Security Matters

Coffee Farming in the Philippines – How to Pant and Grow Kape

If you are here because you want to discover some of the best practices in coffee farming, continue reading.

Coffee, one of the most consumed beverages around the world, has long been a staple in Philippine culture. The country’s ideal climate and fertile soil provide an excellent environment for coffee farming. The Philippines is known for producing some of the best beans globally, with its unique flavor profile and aroma that can rival some of its more famous counterparts. Kape farming or coffee farming has become an essential part of sustainable agriculture in this tropical nation. If you’re interested in learning how to grow kape successfully, read on as we explore everything from selection to harvesting techniques!

Harvesting ripe coffee fruits

What is Coffee

Coffee is a popular beverage that has been around for centuries. The drink comes from the roasted seeds of various species of plants in the Coffea family, which are commonly called coffee trees or shrubs. After roasting, they are then ground and brewed into a delicious cup of coffee.

There are two main types of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans have a more delicate flavor with notes of fruit and chocolate while Robusta beans tend to have earthy undertones with higher caffeine content.

The taste and aroma profile also depend on factors such as growing conditions, processing methods, and blending techniques used by producers to create unique flavors. Coffee can be enjoyed hot or cold through different brewing methods like drip, espresso, French press, or pour-over.

Not only does coffee provide an energy boost due to its caffeine content but studies show it may reduce the risk of certain diseases when consumed moderately over time.

Philippine Coffee Varieties

The Philippines is home to a diverse range of coffee varieties, each with their unique flavor profiles and characteristics. One of the most popular Philippine coffee varieties is Robusta, which accounts for around 80% of the country’s coffee production.

Robusta beans are known for being more bitter and less acidic than other types of coffee. This makes them an excellent choice for making instant coffee or blending with other varieties to create a well-rounded cup.

Another popular Philippine coffee variety is Arabica, which has a smoother taste and lower caffeine content than Robusta. Arabica beans thrive in high-altitude areas such as Benguet, Sagada, and Mt. Kitanglad.

Excitingly enough, there are also lesser-known but equally delicious Philippine Coffee Varieties that have been gaining popularity recently: Excelsa and Liberica.

Excelsa has a nutty flavor profile with hints of dark chocolate while Liberica has notes similar to that of wood or leather giving it a distinctive taste.

Each type offers its unique set of flavors that sets them apart from one another. With so much variety available in the Philippines’ coffee industry- there’s always something new to try!

Uses of Coffee

Coffee is undoubtedly one of the most popular beverages in the world, and its uses go beyond just drinking it as a hot or cold beverage. In fact, coffee has been used for centuries in various ways that people may not be aware of.

One notable use of coffee is its incorporation into skincare products. Coffee grounds have exfoliating properties that can help remove dead skin cells and improve circulation, leading to smoother and brighter skin. Additionally, caffeine found in coffee can also reduce inflammation and redness on the skin.

Another surprising use of coffee is in cooking. The distinct flavor profile of coffee makes it a versatile ingredient that adds depth to both savory and sweet dishes alike. From marinades for meat to chocolate desserts, there are countless ways to incorporate coffee into your cooking.

In addition to these unique uses, many people also rely on coffee as an energy booster due to its high caffeine content. It’s no secret that early mornings require some extra help sometimes! However, it should be noted that moderation is key when consuming caffeinated beverages like coffee.

While many people primarily enjoy their daily cup (or cups!) of joe for its taste and energy-boosting properties alone; it’s important to remember that there are plenty more interesting uses for this beloved bean beyond simply drinking it!

Current Status of the Philippine Coffee Industry

The coffee industry in the Philippines has been a significant part of the country’s economy for centuries. However, its production slowed down after being surpassed by more profitable crops such as sugar and coconut. But now, it is slowly gaining recognition again.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in Philippine coffee due to its unique taste and aroma which are attributed to the specific microclimate where it is grown. With this renewed interest, both local and international markets have opened up for Philippine-grown coffee.

Despite these positive developments, challenges persist within the industry such as low productivity due to outdated farming practices and limited access to credit facilities for farmers. The lack of government support also poses challenges that hinder the further growth of the industry.

Nevertheless, there are ongoing efforts from various organizations to promote sustainable agriculture practices among farmers while providing them with better market options for their produce. These initiatives aim not only to improve productivity but also to promote environmental sustainability in kape farming.

Despite facing some hurdles along the way, it’s never too late for the Philippine Coffee Industry given its potential economic impact on both national and global levels through sustainable agriculture practices.

Coffee Farming

Selection of appropriate land is crucial in Kape farming. A farmer must select a location with fertile soil, high elevation, adequate sunlight exposure, and protection from strong winds and frost. These factors play a significant role in ensuring a healthy harvest each year.

Land preparation involves clearing any debris or weeds that may obstruct growth and potentially harm young seedlings. Afterward, tilling or plowing is done to loosen up the soil making it easier to plant coffee seeds.

Planting entails selecting quality planting materials like Arabica or Robusta varieties which are commonly grown locally then sowing them into prepared beds at favorable times such as during rainy seasons when there is enough moisture content on the ground.

Growing kape involves nurturing young seedlings by providing them with irrigation systems using clean water sources while also protecting them from pests and diseases until they have matured enough to withstand harsh weather conditions without dying off easily.

Culture plays a vital role in shaping how farmers grow their crops; this includes pruning practices that ensure maximum production yield while preventing overcrowding. Additionally, fertilization helps maintain soil fertility levels enabling optimal growth performance during harvesting periods.

Harvesting time depends on what type of beans are harvested since Arabica takes 8-11 months after flowering before maturity compared to Robusta It can be harvested within 9 months after blooming once they reach the full ripeness stage when their color changes from greenish-yellow hue into deep red coloration signifying optimum flavor development ready for processing through milling techniques later on afterward.

Coffee Production Process and Milling

After the harvesting of coffee cherries, the next step is to process and mill them. The coffee production process includes several steps that are crucial in determining the quality of the final product.

The first step is to sort out any defective or overripe cherries from the ripe ones. This can be done manually or by using a machine called a pulper. The pulper removes the skin and pulp from each cherry leaving behind two beans covered in a mucilage layer.

Next, the beans are fermented for 12-48 hours depending on factors such as altitude, temperature, humidity levels, and bean density. Fermentation helps remove mucilage layers that were left after pulping.

After fermentation comes washing where water removes all traces of fermentation before drying begins either via sun-drying or mechanical drying techniques. Sun-drying takes around 7-10 days while mechanical drying reduces this period significantly.

Once dried to an optimal moisture level of between 9%-12%, milling commences which involves hulling or removing parchment layers surrounding each bean with machinery specifically designed for this purpose.

Sorting out defects such as broken beans by size grading followed by a handpicking procedure ensures only high-quality Arabica beans make it through packaging ready for roasting!

Coffee Farming Challenges

Coffee farming can be a rewarding and profitable endeavor, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. First and foremost is the issue of pests and diseases that can ravage coffee plants. Common culprits include coffee berry borer, leaf rust, and twig borer. Farmers must take measures to prevent or treat these infestations to protect their crops.

Another challenge is the unpredictable weather patterns brought about by climate change. Droughts, floods, and extreme temperatures can all impact coffee production negatively. Additionally, farmers may face challenges related to soil fertility management and erosion control.

For smaller-scale farmers in particular, finding access to markets for their product can be challenging as well. Competition from larger farms or imported coffees may make it difficult for them to sell at a profitable price point.

Successful coffee farming requires expertise in many areas beyond just planting and growing the crop itself. It takes a combination of knowledge in pest management techniques, environmental sustainability practices, financial management skills as well and marketing strategies to overcome these various challenges faced by farmers today who seek sustainable agriculture while producing high-quality kape beans

Coffee Farming Intercropping

Coffee farming intercropping is an agricultural practice where a farmer grows different crops in the same field alongside coffee plants. The idea behind this technique is to optimize land use and increase income while conserving resources.

Interplanting coffee with other crops can help reduce soil erosion, improve soil fertility, and provide shade for young coffee trees. Commonly grown crops that complement coffee include banana, avocados, beans, cassava, pineapple, and citrus fruits.

Intercropping also helps diversify farmers’ income stream since they’re not solely relying on one crop for their livelihoods. For instance, when coffee prices are low or production isn’t optimal due to weather conditions or pests and diseases attack; farmers can still rely on the proceeds from other cultivated plants.

However, it’s essential to note that each crop has unique requirements regarding spacing needs and nutrient demands. Therefore careful planning of compatible cropping systems should be made beforehand to reap maximum benefits without sacrificing the productivity levels of any particular crop.

Intercropping provides many advantages for smallholder farmers engaged in sustainable agriculture practices like kape farming as it promotes diversity in revenue streams while ensuring greater environmental resilience through natural resource conservation methods.

Yield, Productivity, and Profitability

Yield, productivity, and profitability are essential factors in determining the success of a kape farming business. The yield is the amount of coffee harvested per unit area, usually measured in kilograms per hectare. Productivity refers to the efficiency at which the farmer produces coffee beans within a specific period.

Yields as high as 2,300 to 3,400 kg per hectare (2,000 to 3,000 pounds per acre) can be grown, compared with 500 to 1,000 kg per hectare (450 to 900 pounds per acre) by traditional methods.

To increase yields and productivity, farmers must implement sustainable agriculture practices such as proper selection and planting of coffee varieties suitable for their location. Moreover, they should ensure adequate land preparation and apply appropriate cultural practices during growth stages.

Profitability is also an important aspect that farmers need to consider when planning their kape farming business. This factor depends not only on high yields but also on how much it costs to grow the crop compared to market prices for raw coffee beans. Coffee farming is a highly productive and profitable agri-venture.

Small-scale farmers can improve their profitability by forming cooperatives or associations that allow them to pool resources together while negotiating better prices with buyers. Additionally, intercropping can provide additional income streams while increasing soil fertility.

Achieving high yield and productivity rates while maintaining profitability in kape farming requires careful planning through the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices such as selecting appropriate varieties, and using efficient production systems whilst building strong relationships with buyers.

Questions Related to Coffee Farming

Is coffee farming profitable in the Philippines?

Coffee farmers are among the most exploited in the agricultural sector of the Philippines. Despite the laborious production process, an average Filipino coffee farmer only makes around 34.95 Philippine pesos per kilogram of beans or just over 50 US cents.

Is coffee farming profitable?

Commercial coffee farming is a very good and profitable business. Once a coffee orchard is established, it can produce coffee beans up to 55 to 60 years. Generally, coffee plants start growing fruits beans/cherries after 3 to 4 years of planting.

Can coffee grow in the Philippines?

The Philippines has been a coffee-producing country since the middle of the 18th century. When coffee rust hit Brazil, parts of Africa, and Java, Indonesia in the 1880s, the nation became the top-producing country in the world.

What province is the biggest producer of coffee in the Philippines?

Sultan Kudarat is the province that produces the most coffee on the island. Coffee production in traditional cultivation areas such as the Cordillera and Calabarzon experienced a decline due to strong typhoons which battered the region in the same year.

Is coffee in high demand in the Philippines?

15 Coffee Consumption Statistics in the Philippines 2023 …
Filipinos are expected to consume 3.78 kilograms of coffee per person by 2025. The Philippines is the second-largest consumer of coffee in Asia.

How many coffee trees are in 1 hectare?

You can plant 1,000 coffee trees in one hectare of land.

Is coffee easy to farm?

Anyone wishing to grow coffee must not only be living in a temperate environment but also be willing to undertake a long-term, labor-intensive commitment to their land and its crops. Coffee is typically grown from seed, and each tree takes on average between 3 to 5 years to bear fruit.

How many times a year is coffee harvested?

Typically, there is only one harvest per year, which will last for 2 to 3 months as cherries ripen. In countries North of the Equator harvest occurs from September to March. South of the Equator harvest is from April to August.

What is the coffee capital of the Philippines?

The first coffee tree was introduced in Lipa, Batangas in 1740 by a Spanish Franciscan monk. From there, coffee growing spread to other parts of Batangas, allowing the province to grow in wealth over the decades. Lipa eventually became the coffee capital of the Philippines.

What month is the best to plant coffee in the Philippines?

Planting of coffee seedlings should be done during the cloudy days, in June through August, during the wet season. Avoid planting seedlings when the conditions are windy or hot and dry or during the hottest time of the day.

How long does coffee take to mature?

Depending on the variety, it will take approximately 3 to 4 years for the newly planted coffee trees to bear fruit. The fruit called the coffee cherry, turns a bright, deep red when it is ripe and ready to be harvested. There is typically one major harvest a year.


Kape farming is a sustainable agricultural practice that has been in the Philippines for centuries. With its diverse coffee varieties and rich history, the Philippine coffee industry offers potential for growth and development.

To be successful in Kape farming, one must consider several factors such as selecting the right variety of coffee beans, proper land preparation, planting techniques, growing conditions, and cultural practices. The production process also plays a crucial role in ensuring quality output.

Despite some challenges facing Kape farmers such as pests and diseases management, market access, and climate change impact among others; many have found success through intercropping with other crops to increase productivity while maintaining sustainability.

With the increasing demand for specialty coffees worldwide prioritizing environmental responsibility by consumers who care about where their food comes from; There’s no better time than now to invest in Kape farming or support local producers by consuming their products.

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