Road to becoming the Cacao Capital

PHILIPPINE Cacao Industry Development Council (PCIDC) is now looking forward for the endorsement and declaration from the appropriate national government agency after the Regional Development Council (RDC) Davao Region had approved their resolution to make Davao City as the chocolate and cacao capital of the Philippines June of this year.

“We are very optimistic because no place in the country has claimed yet that they are the cacao capital of the Philippines and you know, 50 percent of the production comes from Davao. In terms of chocolate, aside from our international awardees, our estimate is that the number of our chocolate makers in Davao City has already reached 100. We are optimistic that whichever agency will declare, they will give due recognition to Davao as the cacao and chocolate capital,” said PCIDC president Valente Turtur.

Within the month, Turtur said they plan to sit down with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to discuss their plan as the mayor has also earlier expressed her intention in making the city the cacao and chocolate capital of the country.

After their National Cacao Convention in Cebu City which will be held, Turtur said they are to finalize which national agency is liable for the declaration. They are yet to find out whether it is the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or the Department of Agriculture (DA) which is responsible for the declaration.

Turtur said PCIDC continues with their activities and programs in order to help cacao farmers increase productivity of quality cacaos.

“So far, we are still continuously training cacao farmers on how to increase productivity. It’s more of a technology transfer. So we’re doing regular trainings with the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao, Inc. (Cidami) every month. We’re also doing visitations in provinces and rural areas for on-site trainings. At the same time, we are coordinating with the local government so that they can also have their own information dissemination programs with their farmers,” Turtur said their trainees had started with pruning stages, which is one of the techniques of better yielding cacao trees.

Currently, Davao Region has around 26,000 hectares of cacao plantation with about 16,000 to 18,000 hectares of this to already be fruit-bearing. The remaining hectares still consist of newly-planted cacaos. On average, the cacao production in the region is at 500 kilograms per hectare annually.

It was also earlier reported that Malagos Chocolates has once again won an award in the Great Taste competition in London, United Kingdom. Their 100 percent Unsweetened Chocolate received a 1-Star accolade under the Food Category 419 (any other hot drink including hot chocolate).

A 1-Star accolade was also awarded to Malagos 65 percent Dark Chocolate under the Food Category 902 (Chocolate bars – dark, milk, and white).
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