ORANI, Bataan: The climate in Tala, an upland village at the foot of Bataan National Park in Orani town used to be similar to that in Tagaytay City, Batangas and very suitable for coffee production.
But the hot weather during the later part of last year and this year reduced coffee production by more than 50 percent, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported on Thursday.
“Previously, 50 hectares planted to coffee in Tala produced from 50 to 70 tons of coffee beans worth P5 million to P7.5M. But this year, the production was only 25 tons equivalent to P2.5M,” said DTI development specialist Cindy Jaime.
“Biglang nagbago ang klima, nanibago rin ang kape. Ang pamumulaklak hindi natutuloy [The climate suddenly changed, the coffee plants failed to adapt. The plants did not bloom any–more],” Jaime said while showing the P1.2-M drying, grinding and packaging equipment the DTI gave to coffee growers in Tala.
She said climate change has affected 33 families or 255 farmers involved in coffee production.
Jaime said Tala used to enjoy cool climate with temperature of 20 to 27 degrees Celsius. Planted in the upland village are Robusta and Arabica coffee beans. There are some Alamid and Kapeng Barako.
Juanita Mendoza, farm caretaker for 15 years, said the hot weather caused the leaves, branches, flowers and the coffee beans to wilt.
“Hindi lumalaki ang bunga dahil sa matinding init. Dapat pare-pareho ang laki ng bunga pero ngayon may maliliit, may patuyo na [The fruits did not grow because of extreme heat. The fruits should have the same size but now, some are smaller and others are withering,” she said.
Mendoza only harvested two tons from the two-hectare coffee farm that used to yield five tons.
"Dati mula Enero hanggang Abril nag-aani kami pero ngayon hanggang Pebrero lang dahil walang bunga [Before, we harvest from January to April, but now, it’s only up to February because there are no fruits,” Mendoza said.
"Sana masuportahan ang kapihan sa pamamagitan ng patubig at abono [Hopefully, the coffee industry will be supported by irrigation and fertilizer],” she appealed to the government.
It takes three years for coffee plants to mature and bear fruits. After that, fruits can be harvested every year.