DAVAO CITY, Philippines –The city government allotted a total of P2 million budget for next year to further boost the cacao industry.
During the opening of the Davao Chocolate Festival in a mall here on Thursday, October 12, City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio stressed that it is her “greatest hope” to see cacao stakeholders “flourish” in the industry.
“We have exponentially grown our economy since the discovery of our potential to produce cacao and chocolate products,” Duterte-Carpio said.
She acknowledged the government and private sectors including the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao, Inc. (CIDAMI) in its efforts in promoting the cacao industry.
“Our goal to provide opportunity to small entrepreneurs, farmers, and indigenous people to be major players in the cacao and chocolate industry, and the production of globally competitive chocolates-all bring us together towards the aim of sustainable development,” Duterte-Carpio said.
In an interview on Monday, CIDAMI executive director, Val Turtur said foreign investors from Belgium, France and Japan have already signified interest to tie up with the cacao producers to source out cacao beans in the region.
Davao region has a total 26,000 hectares of cacao farms, the largest in the country. The region also supplies at least 81 percent of the country’s total cacao production.
Currently, the city is implementing the Cacao Production and Marketing of Dry Fermented Beans, a sub-project under the Philippine Rural Development Project-Investment in Rural Enterprise and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity with Subasta Integrated Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
The recently-launched Cacao City cafe here is also aimed to benefit small entrepreneurs and farmers in the city by showcasing their products.(davaotoday.com)