LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — The Philippine Cacao Industry has to produce 100,000 metric tons (MT) of fermented beans by the year 2022 for both the export and domestic markets.
Edwin Banquerigo, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 11 assistant regional director and national cacao industry coordinator, said in a document obtained by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Monday that the industry target is a 40-percent increase in the present production level of cacao.
Banquerigo was among the facilitators in the Cordillera Cacao Investment forum at the Benguet provincial capitol last January 24-26.
The document shows the sector’s development directions, which include the expansion of production areas across the country to 100,000 hectares, increase in productivity level to two kilograms per tree per year, focus on fine flavor cacao beans, strengthening market presence through improved branding, and more value adding.
The senior DTI official in his post assessment of the forum enumerated some strategies to achieve the direction: industry strengthening; expansion, and aggressive promotion; improving farm productivity; increase in production; access to quality planting materials; stronger market linkage and promotion; and continuous research and development.
Banquerigo also cited the importance of cacao for inclusive growth. He said the industry is expected to provide more jobs and livelihood opportunities and promote countryside development.
More importantly, he stressed, cacao is driven by a stable domestic and export market demand.
Based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data provided during the forum, Davao Region produced 80 percent of cacao fermented beans in 2014, while the remaining 20 percent is shared by the different regions of the country.
In last week’s forum, it was reported that production is focused in Mindanao. PNA-northboundasia.com