LOCAL leaders call for greater support to reap more “golds” for cacao production through the integration of transparent, consultative, and science-based approaches into cacao farming during the Cacao National Congress on November 24 to 25, held at SMX Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City.

Armi Lopez-Garcia, the chairperson of the Philippine Cacao Industry Council (PCIC), said mechanisms are in place to ensure the production of quality cacao in the country.

“Every year, the PCIC and PCIA, in collaboration with the DTI and the DA, will organize national cacao congress and conferences to tackle relevant issues concerning the cacao value chain. This year, the issues to be addressed are the status of the global cacao markets and production issues of cacao farmers,” she said.

Lopez-Garcia, who also sits as the president of the Philippine Cacao Industry Association, Inc (PCIA), said there is a need to meet the local demand by assisting the farmers in marketing their produce by coordinating with market buyers and processors and introducing the cacao products into market outlets.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who was represented by Domingo F. Panganiban, senior undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture, also expressed his support to the local cacao farmers.

In his speech, given the revival of the local economy, it is high time for cacao farmers to be assisted and be given support to further develop cacao production.

Meanwhile, the local chief executive of Davao City, Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, represented by Councilor Marissa Abella, Chairperson of the Davao City Council Committee on Food and Agriculture, said the city will continue its support to boost cacao production.

“With the increasing demand for cacao, it is only necessary that we could come up with comprehensive strategies to boost cacao production and help our local farmers. As such, we are hopeful that this Cacao Congress may generate more ideas and insights essential for the further development of the industry in the coming years,” he said.

In 2021, the entire Davao region was declared as the cacao capital, and Davao City as the chocolate capital of the country. JDC