From the Department of Agriculture
The Davao region and whole of Mindanao urged to rise up to the Cacao 2020 challenge which aims to produce 100,000 metric tons of cacao beans by 2020. Prioritization of the cacao industry aims to position the region as the country’s cacao capital.
The Department of Agriculture and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on July 31, 2015, in an effort to collaboratively enable Davao region and the whole of Mindanao to rise up to the Cacao 2020 challenge.
The MOA mandates the two agencies to carry out policies and action plans that will double the land areas set aside for cacao planting, thereby increasing production and income of cacao farmers and stakeholders.
Aside from production, the Agriculture Department will assist growers in various value adding activities. Undersecretary for Operations and Marketing Atty. Emerson U. Palad said that the DA is keen on teaching farmers on how to be entrepreneurs.
Palad assured that the DA together with MinDA will look into the expansion and improvement of production to enable increased productivity.
The DA, under the High Value Crops Development Program, will also explore export market opportunities to sustain a competitive and viable industry.
The signed MOA seeks to help cacao-producing provinces in Mindanao to address the Cacao 2020 challenge which aims to produce 100,000 metric tons (MT) quality cacao beans by the year 2020. The volume will be used to supply the ten percent global deficiency of 1 million MT.
Data from DA-HVCDP (High Value Commercial Crops Development Program) shows 90% of the total cacao production in the country is mostly sourced from Mindanao, 80% of which comes from Davao Region.
“Aside from banana and durian, we are prioritizing support to cacao industry so that we can position the region as the country’s cacao capital,” DA-Region XI director Remelyn R. Recoter said.
DA identified cacao as a priority commodity for Davao Region under the World Bank-assisted Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP). As such, various infrastructure and development support will be allotted for the sector for the benefit of stakeholders.