Paquibato, Marilog eyed for land expansion for cacao plantation

(SunStar File Photo)
(SunStar File Photo)

THE Davao City Agriculturist Office (CAO) eyes Marilog and Paquibato Districts in the expansion of land areas planted with cacao trees to meet the growing demand for cacao beans.

According to Fe Oguio, cacao focal of the CAO, even before the threat of El Niño the cacao industry in the Philippines faces a lack of supply of cacao beans.

Annually, the Philippines produces 12,000 metric tons of cacao and 80 percent of this comes from Davao Region but the country needs at least 50,000 metric tons to meet the local demand. So to enhance the chain of supply of cocoa beans in the region, the CAO is now looking into expanding land areas planted with cacao trees to 8,000 hectares.

“Kulang kaayo, kulang kaayo ang (The supply of cacao beans is very lacking) so that’s why it's an opportunity for cacao farmers to really level up and plant and increase more the production of cacao to take advantage of the opportunity that we have on hand,” said Rex Puentespina, project lead of Chocolate Tasting Malagos Chocolates.

On May 27, 2021, the city became the “chocolate capital” of the Philippines” through Republic Act No. 11547, otherwise known as the act declaring the City of Davao and the entire Region 11 as the cacao capital of the Philippines, which was signed by Former President Rodrigo Duterte. Since that day, chocolates produced by the region became well-known both nationally and internationally, which further increased the demand for quality cacao beans.

In collaboration with the Davao City Cacao Industry Development Council (DCCIC), the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) will celebrate the 2023 World Chocolate Day through the Kakaw Pyesta: A 3-day Chocolate Fair Exhibit on July 7 to 9, 2023, at the Abreeza Ayala Mall where Davao’s reputed cacao beans will be showcased.

This event will be attended by around 15 chocolate makers in the city in partnership with the CAO, Davao City Investment Promotion Center, Department of Trade and Industry-Davao City Field Office, Davao Tourism Association, and IChef Davao.

With this event, chocolate makers and farmers will be able to build linkages with other stakeholders, thus further enhancing the market trade of cacao in the region

Meanwhile, aside from the celebration of World Chocolate Day, MEDA also takes pride in its Resilience and Inclusion through Investments for Sustainable Agriculture (RIISA) Project which was made possible by its partnership with Global Affairs Canada (GAC).

The goal of this project is to provide investment opportunities to more or less 25,000 men and women cacao smallholder farmers (SHFs), cooperatives, enterprises, and investors in Mindanao.

MEDA wants to extend its reach and help 500,000 individuals through its RIISA project in 10 years’ time. (RGP)


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