CAGAYAN VALLEY — The Department of Trade and Industry Region 2 is one with the Philippine Cacao Industry Council (PCIC) and the Philippine Cacao Industry Association, Inc. (PCIA, Inc.) in celebrating World Chocolate Day on 07 July 2023.

This celebration is to honor those dedicated cacao farmers, processors, chocolatiers, and all the key players in the whole value chain who nurture the cacao industry that supports local communities, promotes sustainable practices, and delights chocolate lovers across the globe.

A “Training on Cacao Tree Rehabilitation and Post-harvest Management” is being conducted today, July 7, 2023, at the Municipal Hall in Sanchez Mira, Cagayan, which aims to discuss topics such as cacao tree plantation management, pest and disease control, seedling production, and cacao value-added activities.

DTI R2 RD Leah Pulido Ocampo encouraged the Cagayan cacao farmers to rehabilitate their aging cacao trees and challenged them to increase their productivity in the next three (3) years, which will eventually increase their profitability.

The activity was graced by Hon. Mayor Abraham Bagasin of Sanchez Mira, Cagayan. He reassured the cacao farmers in the municipality of the LGU’s continuous support for the industry.

Furthermore, simultaneous free chocolate tasting, and cacao planting activities were also initiated by Hilario’s and Isabela High-Value Crop Agriculture Cooperative at LGU San Agustin and San Agustin National High School in Isabela; D&D Cacao Producers Manufacturing, Aglipay Cacao Producers Assoc. and PLGU Quirino at Ligaya Elementary School in Quirino; and Nueva Vizcaya Cacao Growers Association Inc. and Nueva Vizcaya PLGU at Busilac Elementary School.

Moreover, a school-based cacao growing program and a free tasting of chocolates for five elementary Schools, namely Malinta, Gabun, San Pedro, Magsaysay, and Nabannagan West Elementary School, were organized on 04 July 2023, in Lasam, Cagayan, as support for the celebration of World Chocolate Day.

A MOA Signing for School-based Cacao planting between the LGU-Lasam and the aforementioned five elementary schools was also done. This is to inculcate in the young generations the importance of cacao and to inspire them to plant cacao and consider it their future career. ♦

Date of release: 07 July 2023