Where the coffee is grown and how it is grown affect the physical and cup quality of coffee and is the basis for most specialty coffees and those branded to their origin, experts say.
The Arabica variety of coffee that Mr. Osenia Lay-o grows in his 2,800 square meters farm grows favorably in cool area (17c – 24c) with high elevations (1,000 – 1,800 meters above sea level) in the Cordillera Administrative Region) and in similar areas in the Philippines.
Lay-os’ introduced science and technology (S&T) interventions in his farm like shading with alnus trees and the establishment of an improvised water impounding system to provide sufficient irrigation during the dry months.
Growing coffee trees under alnus shade gives higher yields, produces 16-24 berries per cluster, while these growing under other shade trees have an average of 15 berries per cluster upon maturity.
Observed also are robust vegetative growth and better fruiting performance.
Sagada where coffee is known as a mere backyard crop has been supplying the local market with coffee for years, from planted area of a total of 1,035,600 coffee trees with an average yield of only 0.3 kilogram of green beans per tree.
Grower in Sagada can still produce more with the improvement of some traditional practice and adoption of S&T interventions. Relevant S&T based interventions including use of organic fertilizer and selection of proven varieties will enable quality and maximum production of berries.