DAVAO CITY – The Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao (Cidami) said on Monday that there is an increasing demand of cacao this year in terms of its production and exportation.

Valente Turtur, the executive director of Cidami said that with the increasing demand, there will be a shortage of cacao in two years time.

“In 2017, there will be a 1 million metric tons (MT) shortage of cacao production and exportation, which is why we will double up our production by 100,000 MT of cacao by 2020 through the Mindanao Development Authority,” he said.

Turtur said there are several factors why there is an increase of demand in the cacao domestically and internationally.

He said cacao, which is regarded as the “tree of love” has guaranteed health benefits “like maintaining a good heart health (and) a good antioxidant.”

Cacao has more than 300 phytochemicals, including vitamins, minerals, and dietary nutrients such as fat, carbohydrates, fiber, iron, and zinc. Turtur said cacao also has many uses such as a stimulant, antibacterial, antioxidant, and protects the cardiovascular system.

Turtur also said that they will hold a national congress to address the problem.

He also said that Mindanao will be prioritized with regards to the cacao production and exportation.

“90% of the cacao production in our country came from Mindanao. We will focus on having a sustainable cacao production here in Mindanao,” he said.

Turtur said there will be international speakers who will talk about “the initiative of branding Davao cacaos in the country, and also the value adding of the cacao, and the correct processing and production of cacaos.”

He also said the congress will serve as a gateway in creating a council which focuses on cacao products and its production.

“We planned to create the National Cacao Council since there are no single agency who focuses on cacao production,” Turtur said.

In 2006, the area planted in cacao was more or less than 10,000 hectares with a production of about 5,400 tons, with two thirds of the production coming from Davao region.

Mindanao has 20,000 hectares of cacao farms where 5,000 hectares of which are in Davao region.

The Davao region has now a total of 110 cacao nurseries with a combined production capacity of 2.7 million seedlings per year.

The National Cacao Congress, dubbed Cacao Connect 2015 will be held on September 11 and 12 at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang Premier. The event is in partnership with the Cacao Industry Council of Southern Mindanao (CICSMIN).

Turtur said the registration fee for this two-day activity will be P3,500 “inclusive of the convention kit, food for two days, and the educational tour.”

Turtur said the event is open for those who would want to start having their own cacao farms.(davaotoday.com)

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