Shortage of cacao both a threat and an opportunity

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THE PHILIPPINES has to develop 150,000 hectares more for cacao production by 2020.

DAVAO CITY—Our favorite chocolate bars such as Toblerone, Meiji and those made by other popular companies might not be going out of the shelves soon but with the continuing downtrend in world cacao supply, they could be priced too high that we won’t afford them anymore.

“One thing is for sure. There is a shortage of cacao all over the world,” Dante Muyco, vice president of the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Inc. (Cidami), tells reporters here.

Edwin Banquerigo, national cacao industry cluster coordinator of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), says the global cacao situation was real and that supply would soon be so scarce confectioners and manufacturers of other chocolate products would be having a hard time meeting demand.

This, he says, would result in price increases as companies would be spending more to ensure they would get raw beans for their production.

Banquerigo says the global cacao supply shortfall was projected at one million metric tons by 2020.

Muyco says the scenario might be bad but it would be a good time for Filipino farmers to make more money by shifting to cacao bean production.

“The best time to plant is now,” he says.

“Today, when the world is confronted with cacao supply shortage, is the best time for those who are already engaged into it to increase their areas,” he says.

Cidami and government data show that the country currently produces 10,000 metric tons of cacao beans per year.

Seventy-five percent of these come from Southern Mindanao, which has over 13,000 hectares planted to cacao.

Banquerigo says based on government projection, the country has to develop 150,000 hectares more for cacao production by 2020 if it wanted to significantly contribute to the increase in global cocoa production.

He says during the National Cacao Industry Cluster Convergence at the Waterfront Insular Hotel recently industry stakeholders strive to formulate a national action plan for cacao development.

“It is also at the gathering where government shall lay out its plans and programs to bolster the cacao industry especially on production,” Banquerigo says.

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  • Mux

    It’s Willy Wonka and his Oompa Loompas fault. They took all the cacao! :)

  • dequis

    kasi dapat ang mga native lang natin sanang cacao ang itanim natin hindi iyong mga kung saan saan pa nangagaling na mga variety lalo na iyong galing brazil ba iyon malalaki nga wala namang laput pag niluto hindi pa sanay sa mga sakit na likas sa ating lugar. sa palagay ko may mga native na cacao pa na natitira sa atin. some time in 1990 may nakita akong wild na cacao sa gubat na nakapaligid sa hidden valley sa calauan, laguna. iyon na kasi ang itanim natin nang padami ulit. malililiit ang bunga pero ang sarap ang laput hindi napuputol pag hinigop.

  • UrHONOR

    PLANT DISESASES destroyed a lot of CACAO plantations in Ghana, once the world’s capital supplier of Cocoa.

    We had an agri-biz partner from Papua years ago who was very much interested in moving his cacao plantation operations here in Ph because of the nationalization program in New Guinea. The lack of an available 1000 contiguous has discouraged the potential investor. Most of the large contiguous agri areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, upon checking with the DA, were already in the names of politicos like Enrile and Leviste…. and many other minor warlords in the provincial areas. Even the boondoks of Mindoro….may mga may-ari na. Kundi na sa pangalan ng politikeros… na sa pangalan ng mga Generals…..esp in WestCom.

    • Renato Isla

      Kaya nga madaming mga stewardship agreements from 20 years ago pero hanggang ngayon kalbo pa rin mga bundok natin. Regarding cacao, I read somewhere it was Filipino technicians who taught the Africans how to plant and nurture cacao..how come we can not do it here in our country puzzles me.

  • klepto

    I still prefer Marijuana over Cacao.

  • Iggy Ramirez

    This news should be more informative. Which country produces the most volume of cacao? Why is the cacao becoming more scarce? Is it because there is too much demand or is it because cacao farmers in South America have shifted to some other kind of crop? Is the Philippines really conducive for cacao growing considering that cacao is not a native specie?

    You don’t get much from this report aside from “farmers should start planting cacao and the time is now!”

    WTF!

    • batangpaslit

      Iggy, re cacao sourced from South America, if my info is correct, cacao farmers shifted to coffee that supplies Starbucks and other big names in the coffee retail industry.
      What I know, is: to curb the supply of illicit drugs emanating from South America, U.S.A. worked out that if farmers in South America would shift into growing coffee, U.S.A. would import them all.
      Since you have excellent sources too, you may verify the above info.
      Reur “complaint” of incomplete reportage, I think, most of our national news reporters do not really have the knowledge or had a proper training how to file news, or feature reports?
      Nakakabitin ano, ha?

      • Iggy Ramirez

        Thanks for the info. Maybe they hired a child reporter to do the news on this.

    • Roberto Ladao

      Cacao can grow in the Philippines, we had cacao in my backyard when I was kid.
      Filipinos should learn how to process chocolate from Cacao rather than buying for foreign brand. DTI should conduct seminars but I will leave that to the expert, if I have done it, then I will gladly post it here.

    • alex ca

      so many cacao planted here in the mindanaw part of the Philippines of which supplying france….for their chocolate…..

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