Cacao shortage in 2020 presents income opportunity for local growers
In order to meet the rising demand for cacao in the year 2020, the Department of Agriculture is gearing to help local farmers improve the average yield for the crop.
According to DA Undersecretary for Operations and Marketing Emerson U. Palad, there is an opportunity to tap into the global market in 2020 which is projected to suffer from a 10 percent deficiency in supply.
This deficiency will result in a 1 million MT requirement, which presents an additional market opportunity for Philippine farmers.
Palad said that the Cacao 2020 challenge entails increasing cacao yield by 2 kilograms per tree to produce 100,000 metric tons of cacao beans by the time 2020 arrives.
Currently, the DA is focused on Mindanao, which accounts for 90 percent of the country’s cacao production.
DA Davao Region Director Remelyn R. Recoter said that as early as the planning stages, they are involving the cacao growers themselves to discuss with them the strategies that will be employed to meet the objective. This also ensures that the DA and the growers are on the same page in efforts to meet the Cacao 2020 target.
“Through these meetings and consultations with cacao growers, cacao-production interventions will soon start, and there will be continuous technology transfer regarding cacao pest and diseases. Cacao markets will also be opened,” she said in a statement.
Based on initial measures, 500 cacao seedlings to be distributed in areas suitable for cacao and underutilized fruit-tree areas under the 11 High-value Crops Development Program (HVCDP).
“Inputs, such as inorganic fertilizers, will also be distributed to established cacao farms, provided that the recipient cacao farmers will prune their cacao trees. These farms are found at Santa Maria, Davao del Sur and Malita, Davao Occidental, which are operating for at least 10 years,” HVCDP Coordinator Melani Provido said.
(By: Angel Ong)
Source: Business Mirror