Upland areas eyed for cacao

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Friday, February 14, 2014

THE Davao City Agriculturist Office is eyeing upland areas in the city to boost cacao production, an official said.

City Agriculturist Office (CAO) assistant head Roselio T. Tabay, who guested in Thursday’s I-Speak Forum at the City Hall, said they have identified Paquibato, Marilog, and areas near the Davao River Basin for cacao plantation expansion.

Tabay said that based on their monitoring, Davao City has around 2,800 hectares of cacao plantation providing livelihood to some 4,000 farmers. But the figure is expected to increase once they have increased total hectare to around 3,500 hectares to 3,800 hectares this year.


He also said they are targeting to increase the plantation to 10,000 hectares in the next few years.

"This year, we are planning to have every barangay in Marilog and Paquibato to have a cacao nursery," Tabay said.

He said the establishment of barangay nurseries will help expand the plantations in the city with the barangay councils assisting the farmers in growing and producing cacao.

They are also planning to have plantations near the river basin to prevent soil erosions.

"We have to enhance and expand the area of cacao plantation near the river basin to prevent soil erosion," Tabay said.

But Tabay added that their current budget of P16 million is not enough to fund their plans to expand the cacao plantation in the city, since not all of it will be focused on the cacao industry. He said for each hectare, they are expecting to spend P10,000 to P20,000.

He said they are planning for a convergence initiative with all concerned agencies related to agriculture wherein they plan to combine the allocated budget for cacao in order to fund the industry better.

"We really need the funds to hasten the expansion of the plantations of cacao in the city," Tabay said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 14, 2014.


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