A 40-percent increase in the production target is set for the country's cacao industry.
In a document obtained by the Philippine News Agency, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 11 Assistant Regional Director and National Cacao Industry Coordinator Edwin Banquerigo said the Philippines is targeting production of 100,000 metric tons (MT) of fermented cacao beans by 2022.
Among the developmental directions stated in the document were expansion of production areas in the country to up to 100,000 hectares, producing higher quality fine flavor cacao beans, target increase in productivity to two kilograms of cacao annually per tree, branding improvements and value adding.
To achieve this direction, Banquerigo enumerated some of the strategies during his post assessment of the Cordillera Cacao Investment forum last January 24-26, held at the Benguet provincial capitol. These included strengthening the industry, expansion and agressive promotion, improvements in farm productivity, production increase, use and access to quality planting materials, continuous research and development, and stronger market promotion and linkage.
In 2014, eighty percent of cacao fermented beans were produced in the Davao region, with the remaining twenty percent coming from different regions, according to the data provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) during the said forum. Currently, cacao production is focused in Mindanao.
Given the current stable demand of cacao locally and internationally, the industry is expected to provide more jobs and opportunities for Filipinos, also promoting countryside development.