DA eyes higher cacao production
The agriculture department is seeking to improve the average yield of cacao trees in the country by 2020 to meet rising demand.
The agriculture department is looking to raise the cacao yield by at least two kilograms per tree under its Cacao 2020 Challenge.
Business Mirror said the Cacao 2020 Challenge aims to increase the country’s production of cacao beans to 100,000 metric tons by 2020, enough to supply a tenth of the deficit in the global demand.
Agriculture undersecretary for operations and marketing Emerson Palad said there is a one million metric ton deficit in the global demand for cacao.
The agriculture department has conducted a series of organizational meetings, consultations and planning workshops for cacao producers in Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental.
The agriculture department’s regional director for Davao, Remelyn Recoter, said the meetings/workshops were a good start. As they hold more discussions, the hope to come up with a better plan for the implementation of various interventions and technology adoption to improve cacao production.
The agriculture department has organized cacao growers in the different parts of the country into cacao-industry councils for better coordination. Councils were already created in Davao Sur and Davao Occidental with 75 and 30 members, respectively. The members were introduced to other technologies and interventions that can help them boost cacao production.
Discussions on cacao pests and diseases will also be scheduled.
In the Davao region, the agriculture department will be distributing 500 cacao seedlings in areas suitable for its production.
The agriculture department’s coordinator for high value crops development in the Davao region, Melani Provido, said inputs such as inorganic fertilizers will also be distributed to cacao farms that have been operating for at least 10 years in Santa Maria, Davao del Sur and Malita, Davao Occidental.
Some 90 percent of the country’s cacao production comes from Mindanao, and 80 percent is from Davao.