Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Most of Indonesia`s coffee exports have gone to the US which is one of the countries that has high coffee consumption rate.
“Around 85 to 90 percent of our coffee exports are absorbed by the US market,” an official of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade of the ministry of foreign affairs, Zulfikar, said at a press conference at the Indonesian Coffee Festival here on Thursday.
In 2012 his office recorded Indonesia`s coffee exports reached 320 tons or increased by eight percent from last year.
He said the US is one of the world`s biggest potential coffee market although that country is not among the world`s biggest coffee consumers.
However “compared to other countries, the US is one of the biggest coffee consumer,” he said.
Emphasizing the US potential, he said, if 200 million of around 320 million of its population drink two cups of coffee a day coffee consumption in the US would be huge.
Zulfikar said his office had pushed coffee producing centers in the country to increase their productivity because “our productivity is still low compared to that of other countries.”
Productivity in Indonesia is estimated at only one tons per hectare while that of Vietnam has reached four tons, he said.
“We can catch up. We still have a lot of lands for coffee plantations,” he said.
The Baliem Arabica Wamena cooperative in Jayawijaya, Papua, will send 36 tons of Arabica coffee to the US, as the region has been enjoying increases in coffee production over the past few years.
“That [36-ton export) is the first batch. The second batch will be exported in early October,” cooperative head Selion Karoba said in Jayapura on Saturday (4/6).
He stopped short, however, of disclosing the amount of the second batch.
Selion said local farmers also expected to send four tons of Arabica coffee to domestic markets in other regions in Papua, including Jayapura, Wamena, Timika and those in other provinces including Jakarta.
“We currently have only three tons in stock [for the domestic market], but seeing the rate of coffee production in several regions in the Papua central mountain range area, we’re optimistic about achieving the target,” Selion said to the press.
High demand for the coffee, he added, allowed the cooperative to increase the price from Rp 5,000 (about 59 US cents) per liter last year to Rp 6,000 per liter this year.
The coffee plant is a woody perennial evergreen dicotyledon that belongs to the Rubiaceae family. Because it grows to a relatively large height, it is more accurately described as a coffee tree. It has a main vertical trunk (orthotropic) and primary, secondary, and tertiary horizontal branches (plagiotropic).
While there are several different coffee species, two main species of coffee are cultivated today. Coffea arabica, known as Arabica coffee, accounts for 75-80 percent of the world’s production. Coffea canephora, known as Robusta coffee, accounts for about 20 percent and differs from the Arabica coffees in terms of taste. While Robusta coffee beans are more robust than the Arabica plants, but produces an inferior tasting beverage with a higher caffeine content. Both the Robusta and Arabica coffee plant can grow to heights of 10 meters if not pruned, but producing countries will maintain the coffee plant at a height reasonable for easy harvesting.
Coffee Plant Growth and Development
Three to four years after the coffee is planted, sweetly smelling flowers grow in clusters in the axils of the coffee leaves. Fruit is produced only in the new tissue. The Coffea Arabica coffee plant is self-pollinating, whereas the Robusta coffee plant depends on cross pollination. About 6-8 weeks after each coffee flower is fertilized, cell division occurs and the coffee fruit remains as a pin head for a period that is dependent upon the climate. The ovaries will then develop into drupes in a rapid growth period that takes about 15 weeks after flowering. During this time the integument takes on the shape of the final coffee bean. After the rapid growth period the integument and parchment are fully grown and will not increase in size. The endosperm remains small until about 12 weeks after flowering. At this time it will suppress, consume, and replace the integument. The remnants of the integument are what make up the silverskin. The endosperm will have completely filled the cavity made by the integument nineteen weeks after flowing. The endosperm is now white and moist, but will gain dry matter during the next several months. During this time the endosperm attracts more than seventy percent of the total photsynthesates produced by the tree. The mesocarps will expand to form the sweet pulp that surrounds the coffee bean. The coffee cherry will change color from green to red about thirty to thirty-five weeks after flowing.
Coffee Plant Root System
The roots of the coffee tree can extend 20-25 km in total length and the absorbing surface of a tree ranges from 400 to 500 m2 . There are main vertical roots, tap roots, and lateral roots which grow parallel to the ground. The tap roots extend no further than 30-45 cm below the soil surface. Four to eight axial roots may be encountered which often originate horizontally but point downward. The lateral roots can extend 2 m from the trunk. About 80-90% of the feeder root is in the first 20 cm of soil and is 60-90 cm away from the trunk of the coffee tree (Mavolta, 195-196). However, Nutman states that the greatest root concentration is in the 30 to 60 cm depth. The roots systems are heavily affected by the type of soil and the mineral content of the soil. To be thick and strong, the coffee roots need an extensive supply of nitrogen, calcium and magnesium. During planting the main vertical roots are often clipped to promote growth of the the horizontal roots, which then have better access to water and added nutrients in the top soil.
The elliptical leaves of the coffee tree are shiny, dark green, and waxy. The coffee bean leaf area index is between 7 and 8 for a high-yielding coffee . The coffee plant has become a major source of oxygen in much of the world. Each hectare of coffee produces 86 lbs of oxygen per day, which is about half the production of the same area in a rain forest (source: Anacafe).