Davao's cacao products now in Japan, Singapore

MINDANAO-based cacao exporter, Cacao de San Isidro Inc. (CSI) Trade Ventures, is now exporting its products to Singapore and Japan.

"We now go outside Europe, we are now exporting to Singapore and Japan just this year, although we are just exporting small bulks at present. Still, it is a big step of our expansion, true to our goal of connecting Davao cacao products to the world," said CSI marketing director Dante R. Muyco.

CSI Trade Ventures is one of the cacao players that pioneered exporting cacao products to Europe along with the Puentespina's Malagos Chocolate in 2009.

At present, it is exporting 500 metric tons (MT) per year to Europe.

Muyco refused to give the export figures they are supplying to Japan and Singapore.

"We encourage other cacao players for expansion and to go on exporting because bigger market is there," he said.

Located in San Isidro, Davao del Norte, CSI Trade Ventures is operating in a 4,000-hectare cacao producing area with some 500 farmers.

The Davao del Norte's average annual cacao production per tree is at 600 grams.

"Challenge is how to enhance such production that for the next few years, aakyat ito to more than a kilo or two," he said.

The Cacao Industry Development Association in Mindanao Inc. (Cidami) is now gearing up for a research and development program dubbed as "Cacao Plant Nutrition Research" in January next year in a bid to increase productivity in the industry.

"With quality production as our main concern, we are now preparing for a nutritional research for cacao. At present, we are still identifying the research area," said Valente Turtur, Cidami executive director.

The $250,000 research is in collaboration with the Universal Harvester Inc., International Plant Nutrition Institute, ACDI/VOCA.
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