DA to boost cacao industry
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is bent on replicating technologies to boost the country’s cacao industry.
DA Undersecretary for Special Concerns Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has visited cacao plantations and processing centers in Davao Region to observe and replicate technologies on cacao production in other parts of the country.
Known for its global market potential, cacao has been identified as one of the priority commodities that will help boost the agriculture sector and increase the income of Rural Based Organizations (RBOs), particularly women’s organizations.
“Gusto ko lang tingnan dito ang role ng kababaihan at pati din yung mga post-harvest facilities on cacao production na gender sensitive at madali para sa mga babae dahil gusto nating bigyan ng kabuhayan ang ating mga kababaihan [I would like to look into the role of women in the cacao industry and also to check on facilities used in cacao production that are gender-sensitive that will be useful to women because we want to give them livelihood],” Puyat said.
Accompanying her are officers of the Rural Improvement Club (RIC) from Region 12 and Agusan del Sur Rep. Ma. Valentina Plaza.
Under the law, five percent of DA’s regional budget will be allotted to empower women.
Puyat particularly visited the Mars Cocoa Development Center (MCDC), Cocoa Philippines, and Shawn Askinosie located around Calinan, Baguio district.
In those areas, Puyat acknowledged how women in these areas participated in cacao production from planting to post-harvesting.
She said increasing production areas for cacao plantation is one of the priorities of the department.
She noted that DA will support farmers by providing them with quality planting materials.