Innovative ways to develop cacao industry unveiled at nat’l congress
MANILA, Philippines — The National Cacao Congress 2023 has showcased innovative approaches to develop the country’s cacao industry, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Tuesday.
According to the DA, the themed “Cacao 2.0: Sustainability, Productivity, and Quality” summit took place in Davao City on Nov. 16 and 17. The Philippine Cacao Industry Association and the Philippine Cacao Industry Council organized it.
The DA said that the event unveiled innovative strategies for developing the local cacao industry and, at the same time, fostered renewed collaborations within government agencies, non-government organizations, and the private sector.
With around 85 exhibitors and thousands of participants from different regions in the country, the DA noted that the cacao congress also served as a gathering for key industry holders. It showcased the latest science-based approaches to improving productivity and enhancing the quality of cacao beans.
Meanwhile, in his message, delivered by DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. affirmed his support for the Philippine cacao industry.
“The Department of Agriculture has formulated the Cacao Industry Roadmap for 2021 to 2025. It aims to yield 50,000 metric tons of quality fermented beans by 2025 to meet global market demands through a 40 percent annual increase in production,” he said.
“Notably, it includes strategies such as ensuring access to quality cacao planting materials and land, improving production and post-harvest facilities and protocols, and promoting value-added products,” he added.
According to the DA, cacao production in the second quarter of 2023 had a 4.1% increase compared to the corresponding period in 2022. From 2,225.07 metric tons, 2,347.51 metric tons were produced in the same period.
The Davao Region remains the Philippines’ leading cacao producer, the department noted.
The DA said the region contributed 71.2% of the nation’s total cacao production in the second quarter of 2023. With more than 30,000 hectares as of 2022, it also has the largest cacao-planted area in the country.