With the revival of the country’s coffee industry and the rising demand for cocoa (commonly called Cacao in Visayan), the CoCoPal (Coconut, Cocao, Palay) eyes to improve the local cacao industry in Western Mindanao through a training workshop dubbed as Western Mindanao Cacao Development and Investment Forum (WMCDIF) last September 4-5 at the Ariana Hotel, Dipolog City.
The two-day forum were attended by several dignitaries and experts in cacao industry from Mindanao, Visayas, and Australia. One of the important personalities that grace the forum was Simon Bakker, a representative from the Kennemer Foods International, the company behind the famous M&Ms chocolate brand.
ZN Provincial Agriculturist Maybelle Bustaliño expressed her optimism to the growth of cacao industry in the province saying that the industry is not new to the people of Zamboanga del Norte since it already existed several years back. She added that the industry’s stagnation was due to the lack of credible trading in the market and its scanty demands.
The forum was made possible through the CoCoPal Program is a project of the NGO’s ACDI and VOCA sponsored by the USDA which aims to improve the capacity and food security of smallholder farmers. Among the sub-programs implemented by the CoCoPal Programs are the Value Chain Foods, Security Income, and Generation of Integrated Farming System.joint forces of United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Cooperative Development International – Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (USDA-ACDI-VOCA, three organizations that promotes “value chain of cacao, coconut, palay” through the CoCoPal Program.
The forum was also co-presented by the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Government, Local Government Units of Dipolog, Dapitan and Polanco, Department of Agriculture-IX, and Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Incorporated (CIDAMI).
Source: CIO Transcribed by Dipolog.com News Team
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