Davao City allots P2M for cacao industry

Ace June Rell S. Perez

THE City Government of Davao earmarked some P2 million next year for the development of the cacao industry in the city.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio announced on Thursday, October 12, 2017 in her speech during the opening of Davao Chocolate Festival at SM City Davao that this is to support one of the city's emerging industries and to further strengthen the city's bid to become the chocolate capital of the Philippines.

"Next year, we have a budget of assistance of P2 million to the cacao industry. You (cacao players) may want to source this through our City Agriculture's Office. We have exponentially grown our economy since the discovery of our potential to produce cacao and chocolate products," she said.

She underscored that all stakeholders' support to cacao farming processing, research and development is geared towards the aim of sustainable development.

"It is also our goal to provide opportunity to small entrepreneurs, farmers, and indigenous people to be major players in the cacao and chocolate industry; and being able to produce globally competitive quality chocolates," Duterte-Carpio said.

The mayor recognized the vital role played by SM City Davao and the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao, Inc. (Cidami) in promoting cacao industry in Davao region.

"Our government's ongoing implementation of the cacao production and marketing of dry fermented beans under the Philippine Rural Development Project - Investment in Rural Enterprise and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity with the Subasta Integrated Multipurpose Cooperative reflects our mutual interest in this endeavor," she added.

Meanwhile, Cidami Executive Director Val Turtur said they will join two international chocolate festivals this month and in November to expand the market of local chocolate producers in the global arena.

Turtur said the festivals will be in Paris, France on October 28 to November 1, and on November 9 to 12 in Seattle, Washington.

Turtur said both events will be displaying Davao-based chocolates by Malagos Chocolate, Nutri Rich Philippines, Rosario's Davao Artisanal Chocolates, and Auro Chocolates. Kablon Farms Food Products's chocolates from Koronadal and a chocolate producer in Bohol will also be featured in the fairs.

The Davao Chocolate Festival will run until Sunday, October 15. It features around 20 chocolate players.

Chocolate food concepts will be introduced by newcomers Cacao Culture, Chocoloco Inc, Auro Chocolate, Capt Du's Cacao, A&V, Johanns, Milky, Bright Side, Confex & Co., Sweets of Tirzah and Yolks.