Davao farmers to benefit from cacao enterprise project

December 23, 2015 6:25 am 

DAVAO CITY, Dec. 22 — Some 495 cacao farmers will benefit from an enterprise project set to be implemented by the Subasta Integrated Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SIFMPC) on cacao production and marketing.

The project called Cacao Production and Marketing of Dry-Fermented Beans of Davao City is under the care of SIFMPC as the lead proponent group through a cluster-type operation covering Barangays Marilog, Baguio, Calinan and Tugbok district.

According of Jay Rosas of Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) Mindanao, the SIFMPC will act as the main consolidator of 15 cooperatives. The PRDP has approved some P26 million in support to the cacao production in the city.

The National Project Coordination Office of PRDP has issued a No Objection Letter (NOL) last December 9 which signals the start of the implementation, he said.

In a press statement, PDRP national deputy project director Arnel De Mesa said they are hoping to jump start the first cacao production enterprise project of PRDP with the approval of the business plan of the SIFMPOC.

The project is lodged under PRDP’s Investments for Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Productivity or I-REAP component, which will strengthen existing marketing arrangements between SIFMPC and buyers like Coco Dolce and Filipinas Oro de Cacao for the local market and Askinosie for the export market.

De Mesa added that the lead proponent group was able to comply with the requirements of the Project including the proposed enhancements to the business plan that aims to focus more on giving support to production for cacao farmers.

“PRDP’s main intervention is to provide support to production that will lessen the cacao farmer’s dependency to traders and consequently enhance their income,” he said.

PRDP will also assist in providing postharvest facilities to ensure that the cacao production quality meets the required market standard and increase SIFMPC’s production of dried fermented beans from the current average of 43 metric tons to 193 metric tons for the first year of implementation.

In the Philippines, cacao bean production was at 4,831 metric tons as of 2013, with Mindanao accounting for 90 percent. The top five cacao producing provinces in Mindanao are in Davao Region based on BAS data, with Davao del Sur in the lead.

Enterprise development sub-projects will be supported by infrastructure like farm-to-market roads. Recently, the PRDP regional project advisory board (RPAB) approved around P432-million worth of infrastructure projects that support cacao production in the region. (PNA)

LAP/LCM/DIGNA D. BANZON/LDP

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