The Panay Organic Producers Association (POPA) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) aims 1.5 metric tons of cacao production annually which will begin in 2022.
“In order to achieve the said cacao production, DA has been supporting the cacao farmers in the region by establishing a cacao nursery, providing farmers with cacao seedlings, cacao grinder, and dryer, among others,”Buen Mondejar, POPA president said.
During the recent Regional Cacao and Coffee Expo organized by the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Mandurriao District, the farmers and stakeholders saw the regional situation of the cacao industry which was presented by Mondejar.
“The challenge for us is starting the year 2022, the region aims to produce 1, 500 metric tons of cacao per year,” he said. The province currently has a total of 1,900 hectares planted with cacao, Mondejar mentioned.
Apart from the strategies, Mondejar also revealed the total number of cacao production since 2007-2011.
The province of Aklan obtained the largest area of planted cacao with 36.8 hectares.
“The province of Iloilo, meanwhile, has the most volume of production in the same period with an average of 37.46 metric tons,” report from the Philippine News Agency stated.
Mondejar also emphasized that farmers are encouraged to venture on cultivating cacao.
“Cacao is the best alternative crop as some suffered from the falling prices of Palay,” Mondejar explained.
“One hectare of the cacao plantation can give the farmers at least PHP100,000 to PHP150,000 income as dried cacao beans are sold to processors at PHP120 to PHP150 per kilogram,” he added.