Davao City—The conduct of the National Cacao Congress 2023 in this city on November 16-17 is seen as a great opportunity to showcase local cacao and gain insights on how to improve its production, an official said Tuesday.
Dante Muyco, chairperson of the Davao Regional Cacao Industry Council, also encouraged cacao farmers to achieve a yield of 2 kg of quality dry beans per tree, a benchmark that will allow the Philippines to compete effectively in the global export market.
“The demand for chocolate is rising, and we target at least 2 kg per tree of dry beans. But based on our observation, the number of kilos per tree will only get at least 800 grams,” Muyco said in a press briefing here.
To address the problem, he said, cacao experts were invited to discuss the productivity and sustainability of the cacao industry in the upcoming event.
“[The] Philippines is consuming around 50,000 MT [metric tons] of cacao annually and the international demand is growing at 10 percent per year. The world needs 5 million MT per year, and we are too far yet,” Muyco said.
Davao region’s favorable climate, he said, places it in a viable position to expand production to meet the increasing demand for cacao.
Muyco said the region was declared Cacao Capital of the Philippines in 2021 through Republic Act 11547, highlighting its pivotal role in cacao production.
With 81 percent of the Philippines’s cacao output coming from Mindanao, local farmers must respond to the challenge by improving quality and productivity, he said.
Summit activities include plenary sessions, panel discussions, and workshops covering various aspects of cacao production, quality enhancement, and sustainability.
A highlight of the event is an exhibition showcasing 85 booths for cacao industry stakeholders to present their products and services.