Palawan agrarian-reform beneficiaries go into cacao farming

Source: BusinessMirror

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.

Kennemer Foods International (KFI) provides a valuable safety net to cocoa farmers

Source: Business Call to Action

KFI joins the Business Call to Action with initiative
in the Philippines

New York/Manila, 17 December 2014 –Kennemer Foods International, Inc. (KFI), a growing consolidator and supplier of cocoa beans to the international market, has announced its commitment to the Business Call to Action. The company has created an initiative to integrate 35,000 smallholder famers into their value chain by 2020.

With ideal agronomic and climactic conditions and a large number of smallholder farmers, the Philippines is well positioned to be a stronger producer in the cocoa market. By utilizing contract­
growing and buy­back guarantee agreements with small­holder cacao farmers, KFI is providing training and helping provide effective technology and practices to increase the income of rural farmers.
“KFI’s strategy is an important model designed to empower local farmers to increase their harvests –but more importantly it helps demonstrate the value that technical training can deliver. By building this more inclusive approach to increase cocoa production, small scale farmers gain purchasing power and are better equipped to deliver and expand their production,” said Suba Sivakumaran, Progamme Manager, Business Call to Action.

The main focus of KFI is to produce and export high quality fermented cocoa beans. The company is setting up a more reliable supply of cocoa beans from the Philippines through comprehensive farmer training and knowledge sharing of best practices. Working in partnership with the local government in the region, KFI will set­up 10 Provincial Cacao hubs mostly located in Mindanao.

The company has also pioneered the implementation of the Cocoa Doctor Network in the Philippines. The network is based on the Mars cocoa sector development model designed to support smallholder based production. Piloted in Indonesia and West Africa and now underway in the Philippines, the program provides specialized cocoa knowledge and technology approaches proven to be high yielding and pest resistant to farmers.

“Kennemer Foods is pleased to showcase the work that we have been doing in the Philippines in an effort to ensure that farmers are integrated into our value chain and support them in their efforts to properly develop, maintain and invest in their farms.,” said Simon Bakker, CEO Kennemer Foods International.
It is estimated that by supporting the smallholder cocoa famers in their production efforts, they will increase their incomes by an estimated $3600 per year. In addition, going forward, the company plans to train and certify 1,300 cocoa doctors in the Philippines by 2020.