Agribiz: Cacao City opens

Ace June Rell S. Perez

APART from being known as the Durian capital of the Philippines, Davao City is bent to acquire the title of being the chocolate center of the country.

Just last week, the city has strengthened its bid as the chocolate capital of the Philippines as Davao City Agriculturist Office and the Cacao Industry Development Association Mindanao, Inc. launched on October 2 the Cacao City at Pasalubong Center, Palma Gil St., Davao City.

The Cacao City will serve as the hub and a retail outlet for cacao products, including chocolates.

“It houses 15 cacao players in Davao City,” Dar Manloza, manager of Cacao City said in an interview.

He added that the products displayed here are 100 percent sourced from Davao cacao.

The soft opening of the center was led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

“We envision that this is the venue for the buyers and suppliers together. This is a venue where we can help more SMEs and more small farmers get into cacao farming and cacao processing,” Duterte-Carpio said.

“We hope in the end, it will help uplift the lives of fellow Filipinos. This is one of our projects under our program on poverty alleviation,” she added.

The Cacao City is also seen to make cacao farming to become “a profitable venture — eventually transforming lives of farmers.”

Meanwhile, the Philippine Cacao Industry Development Council (PCIDC) is waiting for the endorsement and declaration from the appropriate national government agency after the Regional Development Council-Davao Region had approved their resolution to make Davao City as the chocolate and cacao capital of the Philippines June of this year.

PCIDC president Valente Turtur said they are optimistic on the declaration as 50 percent of the production comes from Davao City.

“In terms of chocolate, aside from our international awardees, our estimate is that the number of our chocolate makers in Davao City has already reached 100. We are optimistic that whichever agency will declare, they will give due recognition to Davao as the cacao and chocolate capital,” Turtur said.