The Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) showcased 11 of its cacao enterprise proponent groups (PGs) during the 2022 National Cacao Congress held at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang Premiere, Davao City on November 24-25, 2022.
The event was kicked-off by Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban, members of the Philippine Cacao Industry Association, and local chief executives of Davao City.
Sr. Usec. Panganiban delivered the keynote message of President and Agriculture Secretary Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr’s.
“Let us honor our cacao farmers for being the backbone of this industry. We also urge you, our farmers, to partner with stakeholders to exchange best practices. We must take advantage of the regional, national, and global demand for cacao,” the message read.
National Deputy Project Director Shandy M. Hubilla presented the DA-PRDP’s background and accomplishments with respect to the cacao industry development support programs.
“We are pleased to tell you all that the Project has approved 23 cacao enterprise subprojects amounting to 205.2 million pesos which benefits 63 farmer groups or 4,577 individual cacao farmers. We also have a total of Php2.14 billion infrastructure support to the industry through the construction of farm-to-market roads along the cacao value chain,” Hubilla said.
The presentation was met with a round of applause, especially by the local government units who have been in partnership with the Project since the Mindanao Rural Development Program phase.
After the opening ceremony, the PGs met with potential partners during a market matching session scheduled and organized by the Enterprise Development Component (I-REAP) teams of the NPCO and PSO Mindanao.
The two-day event is culminating face-to-face leg of the National Cacao Congress after holding three virtual cacao island consultative congresses this year. ### (Ana Victoria Margallo, NPCO-InfoAce)