Cidami to stage 3-day Kakao Konek conference-A A +A
Thursday, August 23, 2012
THE Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Inc. (Cidami) will stage the three-day Kakao Konek conference and exhibit in Davao City, which will bring together some 300 cacao industry players in the Philippines at the Apo View Hotel from on November 21 to 23.
Kakao Konek conference director Lizabel Holganza, speaking in Wenesday's Club 888 Forum at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao, said the conference will seek to explore new markets for the cacao growers in the country, especially in Mindanao where majority of the total cacao production in the country is sourced from at around 90 percent.
Holganza said Kakao Konek is a conference and exhibition for industry experts, farmers, nursery operators, plant breeders, traders, manufacturers, allied product and service suppliers.
These industry players will sit down together to discuss the challenges of the small cocoa growers and increase the production of cacao farmers in Mindanao, who need to reach the 100,000 metric tons of roasted cacao by year 2020, a huge volume needed by world's leading candy maker Mars Chocolate.
Holganza said some international geneticists from countries Vietnam, United States of America (USA), China, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa and India will participate in the event. They who will be providing new information on the latest cacao seedling that is resistant to most diseases.
Organizers of the Kakao Konek will also tap the country's largest companies who may want to invest in agriculture business as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) that will sustain farmers with their needs in growing cacao.
"We're looking at the possibility of generating resources so that not only the Acdi Voca but also those private companies," Holganza said.
Cidami executive director Val Turtur said this initiative is aimed mostly to revive the cacao industry in Davao Region, which had its highest volume of production in 1980 at 35,000 metric tons.
He said the region is only able to produce 8,000 metric tons of roasted cacao beans a year, which is way lower than the domestic requirement of 55,000 metric tons. Of the total production, about one percent is exported.
Turtur said those small farmers, who have one to two hectares of land planted to cacao, have problems mostly financial that impede them from sustaining either the production or venturing into cacao farming.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 23, 2012.