The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently signed the Cacao Production and Purchase Agreement with Kennemer Foods International Inc. (KFI) involving 54 hectares of idle lands in Apurawan, Aborlan, Palawan to help agrarian-reform beneficiaries’ (ARBs) need for sustainable farming and high-income enterprises.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Conrado S. Guevarra said the cacao production project is a partnership between the DAR, KFI, the Department of Agriculture and Land Bank of the Philippine under the Agricultural Production Credit Program.
Guevarra said the Landbank released an initial capital of P406,000 to 33 ARBs venturing into cacao farming for the first time.
Earlier similar undertakings had been forged between KFI and a number of agrarian reform beneficiaries organization involving 200 hectares of agricultural land in selected agrarian reform communities in Zamboanga del Norte and more than 250-hectare agricultural land in Davao City.
Guevarra added that 1 hectare of cacao farm is expected to yield 2,000 kilograms of dried cacao beans per year. With cacao’s average selling price of 40 per kilo in the international market, an income of P96,000 per hectare per year for cacao farmers.
He said DAR-KFI also conducted trainings on cacao production and maintenance to help the ARBs and field implementers to understand the requirements of land preparation and cacao production management through the proper application of KFI’s
“We are so thankful to the Department of Agrarian Reform and Land Bank of the Philippines for providing us financial assistance to pursue our dream to become a cacao capital in the province, and even in the whole country,” Jaime Favila Sr., chairman of Santo Niño Multipurpose Cooperative, said.