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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Strategic planning, workshop held to support Cacao Industry in ZamPen

By Emmanuel D. Taghoy

ZAMBOANGA CITY – To generate support toward the increasing cacao production and strengthen the Cacao Industry Cluster in Zamboanga Peninsula (ZamPen) region, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-9 spearheaded the conduct of strategic planning and workshop here at the Grand Astoria Hotel on Sept. 28-29.

Promoting public private partnership, business establishments from the private sector and government agencies participated in the activity to come up with the Value Chain Map and Action Plan of the Cacao Industry Cluster.

Cacao is regarded as one of the priority high value crops identified by the government due to its emerging prospects in both local and foreign markets. The crop has also been a major source of livelihood for most local farmers over the years.

As one of the emerging products of the region, the Regional Development Council (RDC)-9 passed Resolution No. 040, series of 2015 approving Cacao as an emerging product of Zamboanga Peninsula to gain support from the various sectors in the community.

“We are trying to jumpstart the cacao industry in Mindanao because of the diminishing supply of cacao in the world market, and Mindanao has a very big chance to catch up to be a big supplier of cacao,” Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chair of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said in a report.

The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) revealed that the country has a total cocoa production of about 4 thousand metric tons in 2013. Zamboanga Peninsula region is the third producing region with a total output of 103.51 metric tons next to Davao region with more than 3 thousand  metric tons and Northern Mindanao with 193.31 metric tons.

Region 9 has a total plantation of 348 hectares with a total of 88 thousand fruit bearing trees.

Included in the discussion of the two-day workshop are: Cacao Industry Profile and sharing of Southern Mindanao Cluster Industry Road Map; Introduction of the Value Chain Approach (definition, value chain map, rationale of promoting value chain and greening the value chain).

Furthermore, the ZamPen Cacao Industry Cluster Team will also be organized in the activity.