CAR challenged to increase production of cacao

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet  – 1,000 MT cacao production volume by 2022. This was the challenge given to the Cordillera from the national target of100,000 MT quality cacao beans production of the National Cacao Industry Cluster (NCIC)TWG.

Cordillera alone contributes 0.5% (28-30 MT) of the total national cacao production, Apayao has the highest production in the region with 70%, followed by Kalinga with only 18%. In the country, Davao contributes the largest with 80%.

Arell F. Banez, the Abra Director of Department of Trade and Industry and Regional Cacao Industry Cluster Coordinator, discussed that on an international level there are more consumers compared to the producers of cacao. Major cacao consumers are not producers, and the global supply shortfall is by 1 Million MT. The Philippines is the 1st to plant and grow cacao in Asia but is still a net importer, ninety percent of producers are still small farmers though the production cost is estimated to be around Php40.00/kg.

According to Euromonitor International, the Philippines’ chocolate market is forecast to grow 13% by 2017 to $306.3M.

With the continuous uptrend of chocolate demand worldwide, the different stakeholders in the

Philippines cacao industry saw this as an opportunity to strengthen, develop and promote the industry. It was estimated that 100,000 farmers will get additional income of at least Php 130,000.00 per hectare/year with an additional national earnings of at least USD250 million.

Further, the global demand never went down, it even nearly tripled since 1970s, the price also continually increases. Having the high consumption pattern in non-cacao producing countries, it was projected that there would be a shortfall by 1 Million MT by Year 2020. This is also because existing cacao producing countries cannot deliver the extra volume.

Valente Turtur, the co-chairman of the National Cacao Industry Cluster TWG, said that in the Philippine setting, cacao defy the Law of Supply and Demand. Implying that the highest production peak and demand are the same, from October to mid-January, and is also the period where the price incredibly increase worldwide. Global consumers are also shifting to dark and pure chocolates because it is healthier. Thus, requiring more cacao content. There is also no known substitute for cacao in chocolate production.

The projections on cacao production and demand were presented at the Investment Clinic and Techno Forum on Cacao Stakeholders last May 19-20, where more than 100 cacao farmers and representatives of line agencies from the six provinces of  Cordillera attended at Hotel Supreme, Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio City. Experts on cacao production from Davao acted as resource speakers.

Cacao is grown mainly for its beans processed into cacao powder, cake/tablea and cacao butter, which are largely used in the manufacture of chocolates, soaps, cosmetics, shampoo and other pharmaceutical products. It is also suitable for intercropping, no need for new areas, monocropping and agro-forestry.

The 2022 Cacao Challenge aims to produce 100,000 MT of fermented beans by year 2022 for the export and domestic markets through a 40% annual increase in production. NCIC aims to attain this through industry strengthening, expansion and promotion, improve farm productivity, increase production and access to quality planting materials, increase in value adding activities, strengthen market linkage and promotion, continual research and development, resource mobilization and generation.

By Jenny Dayao

 

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