Agri dept upbeat in achieving 2022 cacao challenge
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has intensified its efforts to boost cacao production in Eastern Visayas in response to the 2022 cacao challenge.
“Based on our records, we are actually a bit ahead of our target,” said Francisco Dayap, DA focal person for the high-value crops development program in Eastern Visayas.
By 2022, the region is expected to contribute 5 percent or 5,000 metric tons (MT) of dried cacao beans to the nationwide output goal of 100,000 MT from 10,000 hectares of cacao farms.
At present, the total area planted with cacao in the region is already 2,000 hectares, or 20 percent of the 2022 target.
“We will continue distributing planting materials throughout the region. There was a carry over from last year and another batch will be procured this year,” Dayap told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday.
Last year, the agriculture department allotted PHP18 million for the procurement of planting materials alone for 1,200 hectares.
This year, the target is to distribute 700,000 planting materials for 1,400 hectares.
The DA has been encouraging coconut farmers, especially those badly affected by the 2013 super typhoon Yolanda, to plant cacao as an alternative crop. (PNA)