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Davao City, Philippines

City willing to help meet international demand for cacao

October 19, 2019 - Saturday 6:10 PM by Funny Pearl A. Gajunera

Article Banner Image DRYING CACAO BEANS. Jover Onas, a worker at the Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines' Cacao Agribusiness Zone Center in Talandang, Tugbok District, Davao City makes sure that the cacao beans are evenly spread on the solar dryer. The Davao City Agriculture Office aims to increase the lands planted with cacao trees to 20,000 hectares by 2021. RUBY THURSDAY MORE / MINDANEWS

DAVAO CITY -- The City Government of Davao is willing to extend assistance to local cacao farmers through a program by City Agriculturist Office (CAO).

Mayor Sara Duterte said that the city is very much willing to help the cacao industry in the city to grow further, since Davao cacao is slowly making a name  internationally.

Speaking during the Kakao Konek expo on Thursday afternoon at SMX Convention Center here, Sara said that the cacao industry has come a long way and shows great potential for continuous growth.

"We can give assistance to them through our City Agriculturist Office it can be in the form of seminars, trainings, or even cash," she said.

She  said  the city will also study the possibility of allocating funds for cacao farmers next year.

Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao (CIDAMI) President Valente Turtur said that the cacao industry in Davao City is growing through the opportunities presented to the crop and its products by the international market.

Turtur, however, said that meeting international demands is still an ongoing problem for local growers.

He added that it is a good problem because international demand annually for cacao grown in Davao reaches up to 1,000 metric tons per chocolate company.

"We don't have a problem in our cacao quality, but the production itself. We cannot meet the demands. Some chocolate companies need 50,000 metric tons per year. We have a shortage of fine cacao," he said.

Turtur said that in Davao Region, the cacao industry takes up to 26,000 hectares of land with 6,000 hectares located in Davao City. 

"Davao Region still remains to be the leading cacao producer in the country. The good thing now is that the farmer does not settle with being a farmer, they now create their own products like chocolates," he said.

Turtur said there are at least 120 chocolate makers in Region 11, 80 of them coming from Davao City.

CIDAMI targets to reach 50,000 hectares of land dedicated to cacao production to meet the international supply for the crop.