Cacao is a small evergreen tree that grows near the Equator mainly in the Central America Region. The first cacao plant was brought to the Philippines from Mexico by the Spaniards in the 1700s.
The Philippines being a vast tropical rainforest, is found to be suited for cacao farming. Since its introduction in the country, cacao has been a staple crop being cultivated and produced. It made the Philippines as the leading cacao producer in Southeast Asia.
Consumption and Production
The Philippines ranked 18th in the cacao producing countries. It produces 10,000 to 12,000 metric tons dried cacao beans.
The Cacao industry in the country is comprised mainly of small to medium scale farmers concentrated mainly in Mindanao. Based on the Cacao Roadmap of the Department of Agriculture, in 2011, the highest producing areas are the Davao Region and Bukidnon. It yielded 2.84 MT/ ha and 0.77 MT/ha.
The country is currently producing 10,000MT to 12,000MT per year. This is do not suffice the local demand and usage of 50,000MT annually. The Department of Agriculture attributes the rising demand for cacao beans due to the public’s awareness on its benefits and uses such as in the cosmetics, medical and beverage industry.
The Cacao Opportunity
The Philippine Government has seen the market opportunities for cacao and its byproducts due to growing local and international demand for it. Per the Department of Trade and Industry, the global demand for it is already at 4.7million to 5million metric tons by 2020 while the local supply is already at a deficit of 40,000 metric tons.
The Department of Agriculture oversees the development of the crop in the country. The department’s Cacao Road Map details the strategies and activities to aid in its production. The department seeks to help in producing high quality seedlings and to educate the farmers with the usage of organic fertilizers and pesticide to improve the value of the beans.
The Department of Trade and Industry through their Shared Services Facilities (SSF) Project extends assistance to the manufacturers by equipping them with machineries, tools and, knowledge. It also wants to address the manufacturing gaps that hinders the and sustainability and growth of the cacao industry in the country.
Good Harvest aims to contribute to this industry, while also giving back to the community via livelihood opportunities thru seminars and trainings, while taking care of the environment.
DA Cacao Road Map