DA-Davao allocates P14-M for cacao

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014


THE regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA 11) has allocated around P14 million for the development of the cacao industry in the region.

DA 11 officer-in-charge assistant regional director Maria Febe T. Orbe, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao said budget will be used mainly to provide seedlings, planting equipments, machines, post harvest facilities, trainings, and marketing assistance among others.

In the data provided, P1.75 million has been allotted for the distribution of seedlings, some P2.5 million has also been programmed for production equipments and machinery, some P6.22 million has been programmed for post harvest facilities and other infrastructure, P200,000 for marketing development services, and P615,000 for trainings for new and current cacao industry players.

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The remaining budget will go to other services for cacao like information campaign and irrigation systems, among others.

Orbe said some of the post harvest facilities that were provided to farmers are cacao grinders, cacao roasters, cacao crackers, and tablea makers.

"The post harvest facilities are identified based on the needs of the local government units (LGUs)," she said. Orbe said it will be the cooperatives who will determine their needs then they will send a proposal to the LGU, who, in turn, will submit a letter of intent to the agency.

She said the main role of the LGU and DA 11 in the process of procurement and the usage of the post harvest facility is to monitor their usage and to take charge of the processing of documents.

As for the seedlings that will be procured, it will be the high yielding variants like the UF 18 variant. She said the seedlings will be issued to the LGU as initial stocks for their nurseries.

"The counterpart of the LGU is to provide a nursery for the cacao wherein they will reproduce it," Orbe said, adding that the nursery is not only for cacao but also other crops.

In terms of provincial breakdown, Davao City has P3.1 million, Davao del Sur has P2.4 million, Davao del Norte has P3.2 million, Davao Oriental has P3 million, and Compostella Valley has P2.2 million.

Orbe said that the industry has a strong export market potential because of the high global demand, thus the agency's extensive thrust for the industry. She said global demand is currently around 4.8 million metric tons.

They are also promoting the practice of intercropping of cacao, particularly for those who were affected by Typhoon Pablo in 2012 because of its high income return.

Currently, the region has 5,045 hectares of cacao plantations with 2.5 million bearing trees and employing 9,132 farmers.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 02, 2014.

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