ZAM­BOANGA FARM­ERS GO FOR CA­CAO

Agriculture - - Plantation Crop -

CIT­ING THE PRO­JECTED world short­age of at least one mil­lion met­ric tons of ca­cao by 2020, it is very in­ter­est­ing to note that about 300 farm­ers, pro­fes­sion­als, and other stake­hold­ers in Zam­boanga City have shown in­ter­est in the plant­ing of ca­cao trees. Around 3.5 mil­lion tons of co­coa are pro­duced each year; how­ever, ris­ing in­comes in emerg­ing mar­kets, com­bined with the an­tic­i­pated eco­nomic re­cov­ery of rich na­tions, have led to fore­casts of a 30 per­cent growth in de­mand for ca­cao to more than 4.5 mil­lion tons by 2020.

With this pro­jected growth in de­mand for ca­cao, an ori­en­ta­tion and train­ing on sus­tain­able ca­cao pro­duc­tion was held re­cently at the AHS Ca­cao Nurs­ery in the vil­lage of Ayala in Zam­boanga City.

How­ever, com­pla­cency and dis­re­gard for the liveli­hoods of small-scale farm­ers who con­trib­ute greatly to the world’s co­coa de­mand would mean that the in­dus­try may sim­ply be un­able to pro­vide a suf­fi­cient sup­ply to meet the de­mand.

The Golden Beans Eco-Agro Pro­duc­ers Co­op­er­a­tive (GBEAPC), in co­op­er­a­tion with the lo­cal Com­mu­nity En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Of­fice of the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR-CENRO), con­ducted a three-day fo­rum fea­tur­ing vi­tal top­ics such as ca­cao plant­ing, the in­creas­ing de­mand of ca­cao (both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally), and its eco­nomic con­tri­bu­tion to mankind. As a ges­ture of gov­ern­ment sup­port, DENR Com­mu­nity En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Of­fi­cer for Zam­boanga City Ben Acana out­lined the role of his of­fice in the prop­a­ga­tion of ca­cao trees in the re­gion. He as­serted that

Re­tired po­lice chief su­per­in­ten­dent An­gelo H. Sunglao (right) and DENR-Zam­boanga City CENRO Ben Acana pos­ing be­side a flow­er­ing ca­cao tree at the AHS Ca­cao Nurs­ery in Ayala, Zam­boanga City.

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