Farmers, landowners in Bacolod told to venture into cacao farming

Merlinda A. Pedrosa

A BACOLOD City councilor urged farmers, landowners, and investors in the city to venture into cacao farming because of its huge market potential in global agri-business.

City Councilor Sonya Verdeflor, chairperson of committee on agriculture, said this is in anticipation of the foreseen supply shortage of one million metric tons that the global cacao industry will face by year 2020.

She said Edwin Banquerigo, cluster coordinator of the National Cacao Industry of the Department of Trade and Industry, earlier said this threat to the growth of the industry will open more opportunities for Filipino farmers and businesses to make more money by shifting to cacao bean production.

“Cacao is an equatorial plant, a crop that grows well in the Philippines, thus giving our farmers high chances to produce high quality cacao beans because of its huge market potential in global agri-business due to our country’s strategic location, growing conditions, and its ready-consumer market," Verdeflor added.

She cited that the demand for cacao beans globally has nearly tripled since 1970 with an average year-on-year demand growth of three percent and Asia’s double digit demand growth.

Verdeflor said according to Banquerigo, there has been renewed interest in the cacao industry given the increasing demand of cacao beans, a significant and a “no substitute” raw material in the processing of valued-added cacao-based products in food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical sectors.