THERE is currently a high demand for cacao farmers in Davao City, said Puentespina Farms founder Charito Puentespina.
AS the city strives to become the chocolate and cacao capital of the Philippines, local chocolate processors are trying to cope with the rapidly increasing demand for cacao and chocolates.
Puentespina said there is currently a shortage of cacao farmers who will actually plant and manage the cacao trees.
“The cacaos and the chocolates of Davao City are award-winning and thus sought after. With this increasing demand is also the demand for more cacao farmers who will grow the cacaos themselves,” said Puentespina during the Kapehan sa Dabaw press conference held Monday, July 2, at the SM City Davao.
Local chocolate processors have continued to promote their products. Five to six chocolate processors from Davao are scheduled to go to Hong Kong by the end of July to participate in a trade fair there.
According to Puentespina, their continued participation in expositions and trade fairs prove the heightened interest in Davao chocolates among Filipinos and foreigners alike.
Philippine Cacao Industry Development Council (PCIDC) president Valente Turtur told Sunstar Davao in March 2017 that they have submitted a resolution to the Regional Development Council (RDC) seeking to declare Davao Region as the cacao and chocolate capital of the Philippines.
“I’m looking for a project which would create an exclusive chocolate pasalubong center in Davao City. When tourists would visit Davao and they want to see cacao plantations or buy different kinds of chocolates, they have a specific place to go to. Somehow this would help enhance the development of our chocolate processors,” said Turtur earlier.
Late last year, the Cacao City in Pasalubong Center was opened housing and showcasing the products of 15 cacao players in Davao City. According to Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio during its opening, they envision it to be a venue for buyers and suppliers alike. This is also envisioned to be a venue where small medium enterprises and more small farmers get into cacao farming and processing.