AS DAVAO City is slowly becoming the cacao and coffee capital in the country, more trade initiatives are being created by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Davao Region in bid to boost investments and productivity in the cacao and coffee industry.

DTI-Davao Region assistant regional director Edwin Banquerigo said Davao region must cultivate the opportunities with agricultural crops like cacao and coffee.

“With the richness of the land especially in the region, it is only right to be able to exhaust also rich opportunities that will help benefit Davao,” Banquerigo said.

“It is also a given fact that these crops do not just grow anywhere but only in high altitude places where the heat is only minimal. And we have wide highlands in most Davao provinces,” Banquerigo said.

In 2017, the Philippine Statistics Authority recorded 6,262.77 metric tons (MT) of cacao produced in the Philippines. Of this volume, 5,073 MT was produced in the region – Davao del Sur (1,702.54MT), Davao City (1,606.80), Davao del Norte (945.31MT), Davao Oriental (507.26MT), and Compostela Valley (311.92MT).

With the potential production of cacao, DTI continues to entice foreign investors to support the cacao industry in Davao region.

In July 2018, DTI-Davao Region facilitated the participation of five micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Salun du Chocolat in Hongkong. The event paved way in generating a total of P5 million sales. The chocolate event also helped the MSMEs to get linked with ten foreign firms who purchased cocoa liquor and oil during the market matching session.

In 2018, DTI-Davao Region crafted the Davao del Sur Cacao Industry Roadmap 2018-2021 in order to locate future investments for cacao in the province. The trade industry also hosted the Cacao Flavor Sensory Analysis Symposium which aims to evaluate quality of cacao beans of Davao Region.

Meanwhile, for the coffee industry, DTI-Davao Region has participated in international coffee expo in order to promote Mindanawon coffee beans.

Last April 2018, Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association (Bacofa) of Davao del Sur participated in the Global Specialty Coffee in Seattle, Washington, USA. Bacofa directly trades 2,000 to 2,800 kilograms of coffee beans per year to La Roasteria while Brew Atelier is planning to support the community through the provision of a new coffee variety and market promotion.

The trade industry also participated in the International Food Exhibitions (IFEX) particularly in the Kapetirya of Philippine Coffee. During the event a Japanese client purchased 300 kilograms of coffee beans from Pistacia Mindanao Coffee Export, Inc., a Davao-based exporter.