The Department of Agriculture (DA) aims to peg Quezon province as a new “powerhouse” when it comes to cacao production, launching a cacao facility there as well a local brand of chocolate developed within the province.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar, together with Quezon Fourth District Representative Angelina Tan and DA Region 4A Director Arnel de Mesa, recently inaugurated a cacao facility in Gumaca.
At the same time, Dar also led the launch of a range of “Tangerine chocolate products” of the Four K Kakao Farm located in the fourth district of Quezon Province.
The cacao facility in Gumaca, according to DA, also hosts the DA Calabarzon’s technology demonstration farm and bud wood garden, with certified and tagged UF18 and BR25 cacao varieties.
Dar said the Gumaca facility can later be expanded to include a coconut processing facility and a banana tissue culture laboratory that will provide farmers free seedlings.
In a statement, Dar acknowledged the success of “Tangerine”, which is a chocolate brand developed in Four K Kakao Farm.
“Tangerine” is dark chocolate made by cacao farmers and members of the Kakao Integrated Development for Livelihood and Transformation, with the guidance and assistance of Tan, who is known in the province as the “Chocolate Queen of Luzon.”
The DA 4A, through its regional high-value crops development program, granted the Four K Kakao Farm with a cacao processing facility and equipment worth P1.5 million for their chocolate production facility.
Aside from Gumaca, cacao farming is also being promoted in other towns in the province, namely Atimonan, Plaridel, Lopez, Perez, Calauag, Tagkawayan, Guinayangan, and Quezon.
Right now, Davao City is officially the country’s cacao capital.
The declaration was made in September this year, following the consistent production of high-quality beans in the Davao Region.
Last year, the city alone produced 2,289.74 metric tons (MT) of cacao, translating to 38 percent in regional share.
Together with Davao del Sur, Davao de Borte, Davao de Oro, Davao Occidental, and Davao Oriental, the region’s total contribution to national production for 2019 reached 5,960.23 MT or 70.21 percent of the total national output.