THE Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Inc. (Cidami) will be training 70 farmers in the city who have expressed their interest to shift to cacao farming at the start of next year.
In an interview with Cidami President Val Turtur, he said the training of the additional cacao farmers is in response to the cacao industry's goal to expand the production from 50 metric tons to 100,00 metric tons of cacao beans by 2022.
"Big cacao producers want to teach them how to produce quality beans considering that they do not have history of growing cacaos," he said.
Turtur said the training will consist of capacity-building exercises to teach them the proper procedures in growing cacao beans and the marketing and selling strategies.
The training, he added, is also needed as it is a requirement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow them to sell their products in the local market.
In the Chocolate Festival held at SM City Ecoland last October 12, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the City Government will be allotting P2 million for the local cacao industry.
"We are very thankful that our good mayor is extending its support to us by giving our industry financial support," he said.
The P2-million budget allotted by the city, Turtur said, will be allocated on the training of the incoming cacao farmers next year.
Meanwhile, he said there are at least 60 sugarcane farmers in Iloilo City and Negros Occidental have already shifted into cacao farming in the middle of this year through the help of the private sector.
"We are also reaching out to our private industry as we cannot rely solely on the government to fund us in our production expansion," Turtur said.
He added that the country is ready to produce 40 percent more than the average cacao production next year along with the increase of new cacao farmers.