Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Bizman: Fluctuating prices in cacao, a challenge

PRICE fluctuation of cacao dried seeds remain to be one of the challenges in the industry brought about by its increasing supply and demand, said Pine Valley Farm proprietor.

On the sidelines of a press conference on Tuesday, April 3, at Frog Kaffee, Pine Valley Farm proprietor Delio Cesar said out of his 11-hectare farm, he allotted four hectares for cacao.

“I decided to plant cacao because the price then was good. It was at P150 per kilo. So we were encouraged to plant. But the sad part is that it decreases when, perhaps, a lot are already planting it,” he said.

Now, in only a span of about a year, Cesar said the price of dried cacao seeds are at P80 to P90 per kilo only. Cesar hopes this would revert back to the original price in support as well of the new and emerging cacao farmers.

With this current price of dried cacao seeds in the market, Cesar targets to earn at most P450,000 for his first harvest but hopes that by the time he reaches the harvest season, the price will increase as well.

Cesar added that it was only last year that he decided to plant cacaos. Normally, cacao trees would start growing buds after its first year. However, as for his trees at Pine Valley Farm they started having buds on their 9th month.

“We really made sure that the trees are well taken care of. The application of fertilizers and insecticides are regularly made especially that cacao buds are very sensitive and vulnerable to insect attacks,” said Cesar. With almost 5,000 cacao trees planted in his 4-hectare land, he expects to harvest a kilo of dried cacao seeds per tree.

In an earlier published report, it was stated that the City Government of Davao had already allotted a P2 million budget for the development of the cacao industry in the city through the City Agriculture’s Office (CAO).

“Our government’s ongoing implementation of the cacao production and marketing of dry fermented beans under the Philippine Rural Development Project – Investment in Rural Enterprise and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity with the Subasta Integrated Multipurpose Cooperative reflects our mutual interest in this endeavor,” Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said.

She added it is the city government’s goal to provide opportunity to small entrepreneurs, farmers, and indigenous people to be major players in the cacao and chocolate industry and to be able to produce high-quality chocolates that are for export quality.

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