Thursday, May 11, 2017

Formulated Organic Fertilizers For Safe Arabica Coffee Production And Soil Moisture Conservation

By Chamanei C. Elias
Bachelor of Science in Development Communication, Benguet State University

Arabica coffee production is mostly confined to the cool highlands of the Cordillera region, particularly Benguet and Mountain Province. As the demand for Cordillera coffee increases, securing a quality production without using harmful chemicals is a challenge to our local producers.

That said, Arabica coffee growers and other stakeholders are encouraged to use organic fertilizers on coffee seedling productions. Organic formulated fertilizers aid in improving seedling growth and investment profitability.

In relation, Emilia Dayap and Von Amado of Benguet State University conducted a study to determine the efficacy of solid and liquid formulated fertilizers on the growth of Arabica coffee seedlings. As well as to determine the cost and return on investment of using such fertilizers.

The study proved that organic fertilizers could certainly improve the growth of Arabica coffee seedlings. It assures greater resistance of seeds to pest and diseases as well as improves the quality of the crop to a more marketable value.

Formulated Organic Solid Fertilizers (FOSF) was formulated using locally available materials such as coffee hull, alnus leaves and pig manure. Moreover, Formulated Organic Liquid Fertilizers (FOLF) was prepared as a compost tea using sunflower, calliandra and coffee pulp substrates. FOSF was mixed with soil in pots where Arabica coffee seedlings was planted while FOLF was sprayed every 15 days to the coffee seedlings as a supplementary fertilizer.
Photo credit: mmmavocado via Flickr
More than 3,000 organically grown Arabica coffee seedlings could be produced for every 100 grams per pot of formulated organic solid fertilizers. Furthermore, the estimated expenses for Arabica coffee production could cost around Php 44, 000 including the material cost, labor, land rent and marketing cost. Additionally, Dayap stated that a selling price of Php 20.00 per seedling could return half of the expenses which is around Php 20, 000.

Therefore, continuous use of organic Arabica coffee production would ensure worthwhile investments as well as provide toxin-free Arabica coffee products. Furthermore, the practice of using organic fertilizers will help in sustaining soil moisture and environment conservation.