FI­ESTA un­der­scores im­por­tance of ca­cao in­dus­try

Agriculture - - Contents - BY JULIO P. YAP, JR.

THE WORLD­WIDE DE­MAND for co­coa is es­ti­mated to reach be­tween 4.7 mil­lion and 5 mil­lion met­ric tons (MT) by 2020.

How­ever, a co­coa global short­age has been pre­dicted at about 1 mil­lion met­ric tons for the same pe­riod.

In the Philip­pines alone, the lo­cal con­sump­tion was es­ti­mated at 50,000 MT ev­ery year, and the lo­cal sup­ply is only around 10,000 MT.

Co­coa is the seed of the ca­cao tree which con­tains a lot of fat, and is used to pro­duce co­coa but­ter, which is then used to pro­duce cho­co­late.

Aside from pro­duc­ing cho­co­late, ca­cao is now of­ten used in the pro­cess­ing of food, bev­er­age, cos­met­ics, and even phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

To avoid the im­pend­ing deficit, the coun­try is com­pelled to pro­duce at least 100,000 MT of fer­mented beans for the ex­port and do­mes­tic mar­kets by 2020.

In an ef­fort to boost the coun­try’s pro­duc­tion of co­coa, a tech­nol­ogy dif­fu­sion plat­form was held to pro­mote the ca­cao in­dus­try in the coun­try.

Called the Farms and In­dus­try En­coun­ters through the Science and Tech­nol­ogy Agenda (FI­ESTA), the event pro­vides tech­nol­ogy, in­for­ma­tion, and knowl­edge on ca­cao pro­duc­tion.

The event also aims to in­spire busi­nesses that use its byprod­ucts, such as the ca­cao fer­mented beans and ca­cao tablea, for the in­ter­est of the mi­cro, small, and medium en­ter­prises (MSMEs) in the coun­try.

The Davao City-based South­ern Min­danao Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Con­sor­tium (SMAAR­RDEC) spear­headed the re­cent two-day ac­tiv­ity which was held in Mati City, Davao Ori­en­tal.

Aside from pro­duc­tion con­cerns, the event dubbed “Wow! FI­ESTA Ca­cao sa Dabaw 2018” also aimed to im­prove the vis­i­bil­ity and mar­ketabil­ity of tech­nolo­gies gen­er­ated for the ca­cao prod­ucts by match­ing them with po­ten­tial mar­kets, pro­ces­sors, in­vestors, and the lo­cal con­sumers.

Among the at­ten­dees in the event in­cluded Davao Ori­en­tal

State Col­lege of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (DOSCST) pres­i­dent Dr. Edito B. Su­mile; De­part­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy-Philip­pine Coun­cil for Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment (DOST-PCAARRD) deputy ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for ad­min­is­tra­tion, re­source man­age­ment and sup­port ser­vices (of­fi­cer-in-charge) Dr. Melvin B. Car­los; PCAARRD Ap­plied Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Di­rec­tor Marita A. Car­los; and SMAAR­RDEC Con­sor­tium Di­rec­tor Danilo B. Pa­coy, who rep­re­sented Re­gional Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Co­or­di­nat­ing Coun­cil Chair (RRDCC); and Univer­sity of South­east­ern Philip­pines (USeP) Pres­i­dent, Dr. Lour­des C. Gen­er­alao.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Davao Ori­en­tal Gov­er­nor Nel­son L. Dayanghi­rang and Mati City Mayor Carlo Luis P. Ra­bat also at­tended the event.

Dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony, Car­los served as the “Gong Man” who sig­nalled the of­fi­cial open­ing of the event, at the same time, de­liv­ered the mes­sage of PCAARRD act­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Dr. Rey­naldo V. Eb­ora.

“We hope that FI­ESTA can help in fur­ther strength­en­ing Davao Re­gion’s com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage, par­tic­u­larly in ca­cao pro­duc­tion. May this FI­ESTA be in­stru­men­tal in the dis­sem­i­na­tion of R&D re­sults from pro­duc­tion to posthar­vest pro­cess­ing, in­clud­ing pro­mo­tion and mar­ket­ing,” Eb­ora said in his mes­sage read by Car­los.

The event tack­led vi­tal is­sues and con­cerns on pro­duc­tion such as the Science and Tech­nol­ogy Com­mu­ni­ty­based Farm (STCBF) on Im­proved In­te­grated Crop Man­age­ment Prac­tices for Ca­cao Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in Mati City, Davao Ori­en­tal; Ca­cao Pro­duc­tion Pro­to­col and Crop Main­te­nance; and Grow­ing Ca­cao amidst Cli­mate Change.

For the com­mer­cial­iza­tion and mar­ket­ing side, the top­ics cov­ered Lo­cal and In­ter­na­tional Mar­ket­ing of Ca­cao and Price Volatil­ity.

Fol­low­ing the event, a farm tour was also con­ducted at the Mayo & Ma­ca­tora Or­ganic Farm, a science and tech­nol­ogy com­mu­nity-based farm col­lab­o­ra­tor.

Part of the Ca­cao FI­ESTA was an ex­hibit which was par­tic­i­pated by the DOST­P­CAARRD, Agri­cul­tural Train­ing In­sti­tute, The Philip­pine Fiber In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity, De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Philip­pine Co­conut Au­thor­ity-Davao Re­search Cen­ter, Bureau of Plant In­dus­try-Davao Na­tional Crop Re­search, De­vel­op­ment and Pro­duc­tion Sup­port Cen­ter, Davao del Norte State Col­lege, South­ern Philip­pines Agri-Busi­ness and Marine and Aquatic School of Tech­nol­ogy, USeP, Min­ing and De­graded Ar­eas Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Re­search Cen­ter, De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try, Com­postela Val­ley State Col­lege, Prov­ince of Davao Ori­en­tal, Ca­cao In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of Min­danao, Inc., and Davao Ori­en­tal State Col­lege of Science and Tech­nol­ogy.

Dur­ing the event, the DOST-PCAARRD pre­sented its front­line ser­vices, bi­o­log­i­cal-based ap­proaches for ca­cao pest man­age­ment, and a video about the Ca­cao In­dus­try Strate­gic S&T Plan (ISP).

PCAARRD also pro­vided fly­ers on ba­sic in­for­ma­tion on ca­cao, dubbed “na­ture’s brown gold,” and ca­cao pest and dis­ease man­age­ment.

The event was held in Davao Ori­en­tal to high­light its niche for hav­ing the high­est to­tal area planted with ca­cao, which was recorded at 6,920 hectares.

Aside from pro­duc­ing cho­co­late, ca­cao is now of­ten used in the pro­cess­ing of food, bev­er­age, cos­met­ics, and even phamaceu­ti­cals.

PCAARRD-ACD Di­rec­tor Marita A. Car­los and PCAARRD of­fi­cer-in-charge deputy ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Re­source Man­age­ment and Sup­port Ser­vices Dr. Melvin B. Car­los served as speak­ers dur­ing the event’s me­dia con­fer­ence.

The “Wow! FI­ESTA Ca­cao sa Dabaw 2018” aims to im­prove the vis­i­bil­ity and mar­ketabil­ity of tech­nolo­gies gen­er­ated for the ca­cao prod­ucts by match­ing them with po­ten­tial mar­kets, pro­ces­sors, in­vestors, and the lo­cal con­sumers. This also pro­vides tech­nol­ogy, in­for­ma­tion, and knowl­edge on ca­cao pro­duc­tion.

Jam­sie Joy Perez of the PCAARRD-ACD shows a na­tive tray filled with dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of ca­cao pods and beans.

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