THE current direction of the cacao industry in Davao City is aligned with the Cacao National Roadmap for 2020, said the City Agriculture’s Office (CAO).
CAO head Leo Brian Leuterio said the National Roadmap 2020 intends to produce 200,000 metric tons (MT) of cacao beans per year by 2020. Currently, there is a nationwide record of 20,000 MT per year already.
“About 70 to 80 percent of the Philippine production of cacao is in Davao Region and a lot of processors are in Davao City,” said Leuterio.
This was supported by CAO Agriculturist and head of the cacao department Januario Bentain saying that the cacao industry in Davao City is very much active.
He said the city’s production and processes is more advanced as compared to other regions. This, he said, is on top of the delectable advantage of cacao by-products from Davao City.
Bentain said it helps that the coordinating agencies like government offices are very much supportive of the industry such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, and DA. He mentioned Biao Agrarian Beneficiaries Cooperative (Barbco), Fardeco Multipurpose Cooperative, and the Subasta Integrated Multipurpose Cooperative as among the three coops in the city that are well-functional.
“What’s good with cooperatives is that they are basically composed of small farmers, they have a business framework, at the same time they are able to receive grants and aids from the financing agencies of the government such as DA, Landbank, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. We can reach small farmers better with coops,” said Leuterio.
He added through cooperatives small farmers are better represented. Their needs and how these can be addressed are easily discussed as well.