AGRIBUSINESS-FOCUSED Philippine Integrated Agriventures Cooperative has partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 to bring Cebu’s own cacao to various markets.
DTI 7 Director Ma. Elena Arbon said the DTI is one of the government agencies that will provide assistance to the group to grow the cacao-producing assets of the region.
“We will provide consultancy services like the processing of facilities and linking them to stakeholders in the cacao value chain and investment promotion services, among others,” she said.
Rey Calooy, one of the board of directors of the Philippine Integrated Agriventures Cooperative, said with the help of the DTI 7, the group’s initial line of cacao products will undergo product development that is in line with international standards for them to take off in the global market.
“They are really interested. Agribusiness is a priority program of the DTI and its exact priority areas are in cacao, coffee and bamboo,” he said.
According to Calooy, there is a huge demand for cacao in the global market because of its health benefits and its different potentials for innovation.
Based on the 2016-2022 Philippine Cacao Roadmap, the Davao Region contributes 80 percent of the national cacao production having 19,769 hectares of land planted with cacao in 2015. The rest of Mindanao contributes 10 percent while the remaining 10 percent is shared by Luzon and the Visayas.
Central Visayas only contributes one percent to the country’s cacao production.
Cacao beans are widely used in the manufacturing, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, pushing the global demand on an upward trend.
Besides tapping the DTI, Calooy said the group also approached the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Reform and the Department of Science and Technology. Soon the group will meet with the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources to seek government support. (JOB)