Region 8 eyes massive cacao expansion in 6 years

October 5, 2016 10:53 am 

TACLOBAN CITY, Oct. 5 –- Intensified intervention for cacao planting in Eastern Visayas is expected to raise the production of dried cacao beans to 5,000 metric tons (MT) in 2022, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

The intensive cacao planting promotion is in support to the 100,000 MT nationwide output goal, in an attempt to address the one million MT global cacao beans production shortfall.

Cacao produces cacao beans, a primary component of chocolates.

Francisco Dayap, focal person of the DA regional high value crops development program, said aiming for an average one MT per hectare output will largely contribute to attain the 5,000 MT target.

The DA regional office will also make necessary steps to help farmers reach the target yield.

The farm department is still consolidating figures on current planted areas and production, but its coverage area and volume is very minimal compared to other crops, according to Dayap.

Earlier, the farm department held orientations, and distributed seedlings and planting materials to farmers.

To make the cacao industry in the region more organized, the DA, in partnership with partner agencies, non-government organizations have formed the Regional Cacao Council that serves as direct link of the government to farmers.

“The council also acts as advisers to farmers. They will assist them in their farming strategies to help them attain their target, and to monitor their progress,” Dayap said.

In line with this, the DA will also hold the Regional Cacao Industry Forum on Oct. 27-28 at the Leyte Academic Center in Palo, Leyte. Participants are cacao planters, traders, and buyers.

The forum aims to increase awareness of farmers and stakeholders of the status of the cacao industry in the national and regional level, the importance of cacao production in agriculture economic development and the new technologies in the cacao industry. (PNA) JMC/SQM/Jonabel L. Salazar (OJT)



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