Mindanao intensifies cacao production
The Department of Agriculture is intensifying cacao production by distributing hundreds of thousands of seedlings in Mindanao.
The Department of Agriculture will distribute 450,000 cacao seedlings this year in the Zambonga Peninsula.
Ana Aying, High Value Crops Coordinator for DA Region IX, said P16 million has been allotted for the cacao planting materials in 900,000 hectares in the entire region.
“We will likely to have a blooming cacao industry here in the peninsula in the coming years,” Aying said.
The Philippines is taking advantage of the projected demand for cacao in the next five years. Cacao is used in the production of cocoa butter and chocolate.
Aying said the DA and the Mindanao Development Authority (MINDA) are working for the Cacao Double-Up Program or CDUP to establish a cacao nursery facility.
“There will be four structures to be established region wide, one in Zamboanga City, one in Molave, Zamboanga del Sur and two in Zamboanga del Norte. Each facility will cost P1.3 million, totalling to P5.2 million under the High Value Crops Development Program,” she said.
During the Cacao Industry Cluster Meeting held recently in Zamboanga City, Cluster Chairman Ret. Gen. Angelo Sunglao said the 2020 Challenge for the Cacao Industry is to produce 100,000 metric tons of cacao beans.
“The world demand for cacao (cocoa) and its products is increasing and we need to plant now, so eventually, we will become the Cacao Capital in Mindanao,” he said.
“We consume 50,000 metric tons of cacao while we only produce 10,000 metric tons. Majority of cacao production was supplied by Davao region followed by Eastern Visayas, and ZamPen is third, for the entire Philippines,” Sunglao added.
In Compostela Valley, the provincial government said a total of 1,422,641 cacao seedlings have been dispersed to farmers from 2009 to 2015.
This year, another P1.185 million worth of cacao seedlings are set to be distributed among farmers in the province. Last year, 508,841 seedlings were distributed.