PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Davao City sets sights on improved cacao prod’nDAVAO CITY, Jan. 10 -- The City Agriculturist Office is eyeing improved cacao production with increase hectarage planted to cacao.
According to City Agriculturist Leo Avila during a guesting at the Davao Press Club’s weekly Kapehan sa SM at Blugre SM-Davao, the city is eyeing to plant 2,000 hectares of cacao a year. Avila said they have identified 22,000 hectares as potential planting sites for cacao.
The city government-run central nursery has propagated 80 thousand cacao seedlings while private nurseries have about 200,000 seedlings in their inventory. For the intensified cacao program the city would need about 1 million to 1.5 million cacao seedlings, according to Avila.
They are also talking with Small Medium Enterprises Development Councils for financing that could benefit cacao farmers in the city.
The Office has utilized the assistance of the Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines (CocoaPhil) and Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ADCI/VOCA) in training farmers particularly on growing cocoa and providing the proper seedlings.
Aside from producing high grade cocoa beans the city is eyeing to purchase an extruder which can process higher value cocoa powder and butter.
Davao City aims to become the largest cocoa producing area in the country. Currently the city has an area of 1,139 hectares dedicated to cacao. The Municipality of San Isidro in Davao del Norte is the leading producer of cacao in the Davao region with 4,000 hectares planted to the crop. (PIA/RG Alama)