TUBA, Benguet – The municipal government will purchase hundreds of thousands of cacao seedlings to be given to interested farmers to perk up the cacao production in the different low-lying communities of the town and provide diversified livelihood for its growing number of constituents.
Mayor Ignacio Rivera said that the lucrative cacao complements coffee production as the former thrives well in lowland areas while the latter is well suited in elevated places with Tuba having both lowland and highland barangays strategically situated in the Cordillera mountain ranges.
“We want to popularize cacao production among our farmers as an added source of income for their families. We want to provide our people with sustainable sources of livelihood which they could use to improve their living condition,” Mayor Rivera stressed.
Aside from being a source of income for the people, the municipal chief executive pointed out that cacao production is also a strategy of the local government to reforest substantial portions of the town’s mountain ranges to help bring back the greenery in the municipality.
According to him, providing people with long-term sources of livelihood and maximizing the town’s available land area for various forms of agriculture is one of the main thrusts of his administration because he wants people in the 13 barangays to lead decent lives which also lifts the status of the municipality into an urban center without compromising the state of the town’s environment.
He claimed there are cacao-producing areas in the country that will serve as the town’s benchmark in establishing its own cacao plantations through the assistance of the different communities so that investors will be enticed to purchase the cacao produce.
He added the local government plans to produce as many cacao seedlings as possible in available plantation sites for distribution to interested farmers to supplement their income or as alternative livelihood.
Mayor Rivera expressed confidence cacao production will be one of the town’s major economic driver once such plantations will be established in some of the barangays suitable to produce cacao.
He claimed there is a huge demand for cacao which should be cashed in by interested farmers as this commands a decent price in the market.
Further, the promotion of cacao production also to prepare for source of income for the local government in lieu of the taxes that will be lost once the mining operations in the locality will reach its prescribed end of mine life in 2022.