A PROJECT by Nestlé SA coffee brand Nescafé supporting small coffee farmers in Sultan Kudarat and Bukidnon has increased average yields by 64% and income by 45% in 2021, the company said.
“The significant increases in their yields and incomes are attributed to their adoption of an agri-enterprise approach to farm operations, which includes applying learned skills in better farm planning and budgeting, seeking financial services, money management, farm diversification through intercropping or multi-cropping, and raising livestock,” Nescafé Philippines said.
“Other factors driving their progress are improvements in coffee tree maintenance, entrepreneurial farm management techniques and regenerative agriculture practices,” it added.
The project is a long-term program that aims to increase the supply of Robusta coffee. The Robusta variant accounts for 66% of Philippine coffee production and is mostly grown in Mindanao.
The program is carried out in cooperation with German development agency Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit. Since 2019, it has trained 1,500 participating farmers on developing an “agri-entrepreneurial mindset.”
The farmers’ adoption of regenerative farming practices such as agroforestry, or the use of crop cover and other vegetation, the application of organic matter and rejuvenation of coffee trees resulted in higher yields, according to a study.
“Regenerative practices are indispensable to enhancing productivity and empowering communities,” Nestlé Philippines Chairman and Chief Executive Kais Marzouki said in a statement.
“Through the (program), we are working to secure a reliable supply of quality green coffee beans, helping improve the livelihood of farmers, and contributing to the protection and revitalization of food systems for generations to come,” he added.
Regenerative agriculture enhances resource use. It is based on farming principles that rehabilitate and enhance the entire farm ecosystem by protecting and maintaining the health of the soil, espousing biodiversity, and a host of other practices that promote resiliency and the delicate balance of the environment, according to Nestlé Philippines.
“Along with the efforts of our partners and other stakeholders, the plan aims to increase the capacity of farmers for regeneration and build a future in which all our green coffee beans are sourced from farmers adopting regenerative agriculture practices,” Mr. Marzouki said.
“As we move forward in our transition to regenerative food systems, we want to encourage consumers to be more mindful of how raw materials are grown and how products are made as they make purchase decisions,” he added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson