LAOAG CITY – Cacao growers in the small town of Adams, Ilocos Norte have unveiled a new brand of locally-processed cacao food products as a shared service facility for cacao processing that is now ready to roll.
Worth more than P1 million, the cacao processing facility is a dream come true for high value commercial crop farmers of Adams town as the Department of Trade Industry (DTI) granted their request to finance the facility with a counterpart of P200,000 from the Adams Cacao Growers and Processors Association Inc., mostly composed of women farmers from the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) community.
Among its 18 members, at least five of them have already received Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification from the Department of Agriculture–Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) in 2019. These are the Cardom’s Farm, Inuwayan Farm, Rona’s Farm, Yaoh’s Integrated Farm and Wilma’s Farm.
Carmelita Abnasan, owner of Cardom’s Farm on Wednesday said the processing facility is a big help for them to come up with quality food products such as dark chocolate or cacao tablea, among others.
At present, Abnasan has around 100 fruit-bearing cacao trees on her farm and she plans to plant more now that they have equipment to assist them in processing their harvest.
Included in the list of equipment that was turned over to the cacao growers and processors include: one unit of household type dehydrator, a roaster machine with gas tank, disk grinder, an automatic piston funnel with stand and air compressor, a vertical bond sealer, two units of display cabinet and chocolate melters, among others.
“Thank you to the DTI for assisting the cacao growers of Adams. We, at the provincial government of Ilocos Norte are behind you to ensure the sustainability of the project,“ said Vice Governor Cecilia Araneta-Marcos.