opens doors to DavOrís cacao farmers, coops
November 24, 2020
DAVAO CITY Ė The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Rural Agro-enterprise
Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth)
Project, in partnership with the Puentespina Farms, conducted a
five-day intensive training on cacao processing, bean trading, and
cacao economics among the seven cacao farmer organizations from
Davao Oriental on November 16 to20.
The Puentespina Farms,
through its Malagos Cacao Development Center (MCDC), which is the
birth place of the award-winning Malagos Chocolate, shared its
processing technology, standards and protocols that brought them to
the world stage. The participants, composed of twelve farmers,
underwent several activities to hone their skills further. These
included those on understanding the Philippine cacao genetics and
opportunities, productivity enhancement, fermentation and drying
process, bean grading and cacao economics, such as product costing.
Furthermore, the cacao farmers and coop leaders had an actual field
demonstration on all the topics to ensure that they acquired the
necessary knowledge and skills related to technology and the science
behind cacao production and processing.
In the meantime, the
participants also received an orientation on Good Agricultural
Practices (GAP) and process requirements from the Department of
Agriculture (DA) Regulatory Division, as part of the projectís
package of assistance. Likewise, the Philippine Crop Insurance
Corporation (PCIC) gave an orientation of its services, as well as,
encouraged these farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)
to avail of the governmentís subsidized insurance intervention.
The seven farmer
organizations that participated in the latest activities were the
Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa San Isidro (NAGMASID ARCO), Davao Oriental
Coco & Cacao Development Coalition (DOCCIDeC), Limot Tribal Mandaya
Coop (LIMTRIMCO), Gov. Generoso Cacao Farmers (GGCFA), Panikian
Cacao Sustainable Farmers (PACSFA), NAKMACCO and Yagakauyon ng
Kooperatiba ng San Ignacio (YAKOSI). They would cascade these
learnings to their respective members. These groups are
beneficiaries of DAís Philippine Rural Development Programís (PRDP)
cacao post-harvest facilities. As such, the DTI-RAPID Growth Project
complements the other government agenciesí interventions and
harmonizes the support to ensure that the proposed business model
will be carried out and sustained.
The MCDC shared the same
vision with the DTI - RAPID Growth Project, which is to build and
sustain a solid supply of raw materials. Thus, it commits to help in
the production of high quality cacao beans, while strengthening the
foundation of cacao farming. Along this line, the company will enter
into a marketing agreement with the farmer organizations. Part of
the said partnership are the continuous technical interventions of
MCDC, particularly the Puentespina Farms. Being the anchor firm, it
would help establish the business enterprise systems and protocols
of the backward links. This partnership with MCDC is expected to
benefit around 300 to 350 cacao farmers, by having an institutional
market for high quality beans.
Puentespina Farms owner
Charita Puentespina encouraged the farmer leaders to share the
knowledge they acquired to their members and to really nurture their
most vital capital - the cacao variety in the Philippines.
ďIf thereís proper
technology transfer, the farmers could get a premium price for their
produce, since they are targeting to provide and offer fine cacao
both to the local and international markets,Ē Puentespina said.
To achieve the
collaborationís objective, all parties agreed to continuously work
together to finalize their commercial partnership agreement. This
would include the operation systems and protocols and the roles and
responsibilities of each of them to strengthen and sustain the
The DTI- RAPID Growth
Project is a special initiative, which DTI implements, and with a
funding support from the International Fund for Agriculture
Development (IFAD). It focuses on four industries - cacao, coffee,
coconut and processed fruits and nuts.