Cacao guru speaks at Zampen investment confab held in ZC PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 October 2015 14:10

by Allen  Abastillas

Philippines’ cacao guru, Mr. Pedro V. Cruz,  head of the Agritechnology Department of Kennemer Foods Inc. in Davao City, was one of the speakers in the two-day Zamboanga Peninsula Investment Conference on October 8 -9,2015 at Astoria Hotel.

Cruz lectured the participants on cacao production and processing.

He said that to intercrop cacao with coconut would double or triple a farmer’s income compared to coconut alone.

“We will grab this opportunity for the Philippines cacao because of the huge demand in the world market because of the forecast shortfall of cacao in the year 2020 which is one million metric tons. Unlike coconut oil there are substitutes on it like palm oil, olive oil, corn oil,  soybean oil, canola oil and vetetable oil. Only cacao can make chocolate and there is no substitute. All the farmers have to follow the five factors that influence the quality of cacao beans on farmers level. They are Genetic. Environment, Farm Management, Pest and diseases management and post harvest processing.

According to Cruz, the cacao trees in Indonesia and South Africa are old trees and aging. The Philippines would be a major supplier because it has still an idle land to plant cacao especially under the tree million hectares of coconut lands. To make sustainable, we  have to work on the sustainability — Economic, Environmental and Social.

“ Grow Cacao with the world and soon harvest a hundrefold,” Cruz emphasized.

ZAMPEN ICON is spearheaded by the Dept. of Trade and Industry-9 under Regional Director Sitti Amina Jain in partnership with the  Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc., Industrial Group of Zamboanga Inc., Local Government of Zamboanga and Canning Industry of Z.C. Its theme is “ Inclusive Growth thru High Impact Investments”. — Allen Abastillas