Davao in po­si­tion to be­come coun­try’s choco­late cap­i­tal

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS -

The prov­ince of Davao is be­ing po­si­tioned as the choco­late cap­i­tal of the Philip­pines.

Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Car­pio bared their plan to make Davao’s ca­cao in­dus­try glob­ally com­pet­i­tive dur­ing her first State of the City ad­dress on Sept. 12, 2017.

“It will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for the small en­trepreneurs, mar­ginal farm­ers, up­land farm­ers, and in­dige­nous peo­ple of Davao City to be play­ers in the ca­cao and choco­late in­dus­try by pro­duc­ing glob­ally com­pet­i­tive qual­ity choco­lates,” DuterteCar­pio said.

She said the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture-Philip­pine Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Project (DA-PRDP) had ex­tended P9.05 mil­lion in fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to the city’s ca­cao farm­ers.

“We have an on­go­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion of 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 (PRDP-IREAP) with Subasta In­te­grated Multi-Pur­pose Co­op­er­a­tive (SIMPC),” she said.

This project has 16 clus­ter mem­bers from Cali­nan, Tug­bok, Baguio, and Mar­ilog dis­tricts with a to­tal of 227 re­cip­i­ents, which in­clude 97 mem­bers of the In­dige­nous Peo­ples group, she added.

DA-PRDP is a six-year na­tional gov­ern­ment plat­form for in­clu­sive, val­uechain ori­ented, and cli­mate re­silient agri­cul­ture and fish­eries sec­tor.

“We en­vi­sion a for­mi­da­ble agri­cul­tural sec­tor that is not weather de­pen­dent and is re­silient to cli­mate change. We would like our farm­ers to be­come busi­nes­sori­ented part­ners. We want to see an end to the slav­ery of farm­ers by fi­nanciers,” said Duterte-Car­pio.

DA Davao re­gion di­rec­tor Ri­cardo Oñate, Jr. said ca­cao is one of the re­gion’s cham­pion com­modi­ties as the re­gion sup­plies 80 per­cent of the coun­try’s ca­cao pro­duc­tion.

“We have numer­ous as­sis­tance to the ca­cao in­dus­try al­ready. Our project with the city gov­ern­ment in Subasta, Cali­nan amounted to a to­tal of P26 mil­lion in­clud­ing the eq­uity share of the LGU and the farm­ers as­so­ci­a­tions,” said Oñate who is also the di­rec­tor of PRDP-Min­danao.

“It will not be far-fetched that the city can be­come the choco­late cap­i­tal of the Philip­pines be­cause we have the po­ten­tial to be one. For in­stance, our Davaobased choco­late pro­ducer – Mala­gos Choco­late, has re­ceived numer­ous recog­ni­tion abroad for pro­duc­ing world class dark choco­late,” City Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Of­fice chief Ivan Cortez said in a sep­a­rate in­ter­view.

CHOCO­LATE ORI­GIN: Farmer-mem­ber of Subasta In­te­grated Multi-Pur­pose Co­op­er­a­tive tends the dry­ing of ca­cao beans, the source of world-renowned Davao dark choco­late.

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