Nat’l Congress spotlights cutting-edge strategies in boosting cacao
The National Cacao Congress 2023 unveiled innovative strategies for the development of the local cacao industry while fostering renewed collaborations among government agencies, non-government organizations, and the private sector.
Held on November 16-17, 2023, in Davao City, the Congress, themed “Cacao 2.0: Sustainability, Productivity, and Quality,” served as a gathering for key industry stakeholders to showcase the latest technologies aimed at improving productivity and enhancing the quality of cacao beans using science-based approaches.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., whose message was read by DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, affirmed strong support for the cacao industry and emphasized government initiatives to secure the country’s position among the world’s leading cacao producers through the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Cacao Industry Roadmap.
“The Department of Agriculture has formulated the Cacao Industry Roadmap for 2021 to 2025. It aims to yield 50,000 metric tons of quality fermented beans by 2025 to meet global market demands through a 40 percent annual increase in production. Notably, it includes strategies such as ensuring access to quality cacao planting materials and land; improving production and post-harvest facilities and protocols; and promoting value-added products,” the President said.
Organized by the Philippine Cacao Industry Association (PCIA) and the Philippine Cacao Industry Council (PCIC), around 85 exhibitors and thousands of participants from different regions in the Philippines convened for the two-day congress.
Cacao production saw a 4.1% increase, rising from 2,225.07 metric tons (MT) in the second quarter of 2022 to 2,347.51 MT in the corresponding quarter of 2023.
The Davao Region maintained its position as the leading cacao producer in the country, contributing 1,670 MT or a 71.2% share of the nation’s total cacao production in the second quarter of 2023. Additionally, the region boasts the largest cacao-planted area, totaling 32,231.50 hectares (ha) as of 2022. ### (Ira Y. Cruz, DA-AFID)