Farmers urged to plant cacao trees-A A +A
Thursday, April 12, 2012
THE Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Inc. urged local farmers to plant cacao trees to increase the production of quality beans and meet the demand of the global market.
This, as the association's chairperson, Clarita Puentespina, projected as much 300,000 metric tons of quality cocoa beans by year 2020.
At least 70 million fruit-bearing trees are needed to be planted to supply such a volume, according to Puetespina.
She said there's a domestic demand of 55,000 metric tons of cocoa beans, but said they are only able to supply 7,000 metric tons.
Puentespina said the Success Alliance, a program funded by the World Cocoa Foundation, has helped local farmers learn the good practices in growing cacao trees with the integration of new technology.
"Through this technology, we're able to produce quality export product," Puentespina said.
She recalled that in 2007 the production of the product went down. But with the rehabilitation program of Success Alliance, the production of export quality beans increased again.
Puentespina also said they are opening the Cacao Development Center on May 8. The center is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture with a financial assistance of P600,000.
"Libre ang training (We provide free training) on how to plant cacao trees," she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 13, 2012.