Farmers urged to go into cacao farming PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 13:54

by Allen  Abastillas

Engr. Edwin O. Banquerigo, provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry in Davao City, estimated a shortage of one million metric tons of cacao dried beans in the world market  in 2020  if farmers will not plant and continue production..

Banquerigo, who is the DTI -National Cacao Industry Cluster Coordinator, said the Philippines  produces dried cacao beans only at 40,000 metric tons annually.

Banquerigo was in Zamboanga City as lecturer on “Cacao Industry Profile and Sharing of Southern Mindanao Cacao Industry Road Map during a two-day seminar on “ Strategic Planning Workshop for the Cacao Industry”  sponsored by the Dept. of Trade and Industry September 28-29,2015 at the Executive Lounge of Grand Astoria Hotel.

He urged government agencies and local government units in Zamboanga Peninsula to help and assist the farmers because it is  a sure income and it will uplift their socio- economic status.

Environment and Natural Resources Officer Dindo Deotecio disclosed that there are  available varieties of Cacao seedlings certified by Kennemer Foods International, a company supplying dried cacao beans in the world market.

Cacao seedlings are available at AHS Agri- Aqua Venture  nursery in at Bernardo’s Farm barangay Ayala. The cacao seedlings are UF 18, BR 25, PBC 123, XV 10 and K 8. The varieties of cacao seedlings once planted will bear fruits after 18 months to two years and once fully grown fruiting stages continue.

Jade Mark Antay, a cacao expert, disclosed that the butter oil of dried cacao beans is not only for chocolate but also a very important ingredient for medicines, lipsticks, and other health and beauty products.

Kennemer says cacao is known in ancient times as “foods for the Gods.” — Allen Abastillas