The Department of Agriculture in Region 11 (DA-11) has reported a spike in the number of emerging local cacao processors engaged in traditional products from tablea to cacao nibs, tea, wine, beauty soap, charcoal, and vinegar.
DA-11 communications chief Noel Provido on Tuesday said among the emerging processors is Cacao de Davao led by Neal Santillan, an overseas Filipino worker who established a cacao farm and facilities together with 25 other OFWs.
Provido said Santillan’s group produces fine chocolates in Barangay Tibungco, this city, and is marketing its products at a local mall and also ships products to the Middle East.
Provido said Santillan’s product of chocolate mixed with coco sugar was accredited as Halal, even earning an award in Malaysia and the tablea got a bronze award in the United Kingdom.
Aside from Cacao de Davao, Provido pointed to other cacao product manufacturers such as Oriental Cacao of Davao Oriental, Cacao & Beyond of Compostela Valley Province, and the Cacao Cultured PH, which produces beauty products.
Provido also highlighted the ongoing propagation of both coffee and cacao of the Pine Valley Resort in Maragusan, ComVal Province, and the Cacao in the Sky in Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental.
He said the increasing propagation would boost the cacao industry, adding that the DA has targeted to grow one million cacao trees in 2022 to achieve the 100,000 metric tons annual production volume. The current production of the country is only at 11,000 metric tons, he said.
Through the farmers’ cooperative, Provido said DA also provides technical assistance and other post-harvest facilities and skills training to encourage farmers to rehabilitate and fertilize their trees as well as embrace good agricultural practices. (PNA)
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