DAVAO CITY – Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao Leo Tereso Magno said that his office and cacao farmers are collaborating on strategies to enable the industry to meet the heightened demand for cacao beans.
PRESIDENTIAL Assistant for Eastern Mindanao Leo Tereso Magno (second from right).
Magno, during the National Cacao Congress 2023 on Thursday, November 16, at the SMX Lanang Convention Center here, said he had preliminary discussions with cacao farmers in this city regarding the global surge in cacao demand.
He said that he had discussions with Davao City Council Committee on Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Food Chairperson Councilor Marissa Abella and instructed her to make a roadmap on how they can help the cacao industry.
Magno told the 1,500 participants of the Cacao Congress that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s administration is committed to fostering the growth of the cacao industry through collaborative efforts between the government and the private sector.
“The goal is to address what the cacao industry needs, and my office, which is under the Office of the President, has committed to your leaders that I am always willing to help you,” Magno said.
Davao Regional Cacao Industry Council head Dante Muyco urged cacao farmers to target the production of two kilograms of high-quality dry beans per tree. He added that this standard is essential for positioning the Philippines competitively in the global export market.
Muyco said the annual cacao consumption in the country stands at around 50,000 metric tons (MT) while the global demand is experiencing a yearly growth rate of 10 percent. He added that the world needs five million MT yearly, indicating a substantial gap that needs to be addressed.
The conference, conducted by the Philippine Cacao Industry Council (PCIC) and the Philippine Cacao Industry Association (PCIA), aims to improve sustainability, productivity, and quality within the cacao industry.
Muyco said the discussions will center on inventive farming techniques, emphasizing the synergistic cultivation of cacao and coconut. He added that the industry has recognized this approach as an efficient strategy for augmenting farmers’ earnings.
Davao is known as the Cacao Capital of the Philippines through Republic Act 11547, with at least 81 percent of cacao crops in the country planted here and the Davao region. Farmers are working to meet the challenge by enhancing the quality and productivity of their produce.