CAGAYAN VALLEY — The DTI Region 2 and DTI R2-Isabela, in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Isabela through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), conducted the Training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in Cacao Farming cum Economics of Value-Adding for Cacao at Nicolas Integrated Farm in Barangay Payac, Jones, Isabela on 19 May 2023.

The training aimed to address challenges faced by cacao farmers and improve their agricultural practices on pruning techniques, rejuvenation, rehabilitation, pest and disease control, as well as the benefits of value-adding processes for cacao.

Moreover, speakers during the said training were Ms. Jessica Bernardo, Agricultural Technician II, of the Department of Agriculture-Cagayan Valley Research Center (DA-CVRC), who discussed the topic of Cacao Rejuvenation & Rehabilitation and the actual demo on-site on the proper pruning techniques; Mr. Romeo Panopio II, Regional Focal Person for Cacao, who discussed the topics on the Economics of Value-Adding for Cacao and How to Start a Cacao Farm; Ms. Minda Flor Aquino, Center Chief III of the DA RFO-Regional Crop Protection Center 2, tackled Pests and Disease Control for Cacao; and Ms. Marcelina Yadao, technical staff from the OPA who shared topics on GAP and the requirements on how cacao farms to be PhilGAP-accredited.

During the training, the DA RFO2-Regional Crop Protection Center pledged to provide the participants with some pest control inputs developed by their office.

Furthermore, the training was attended by 30 cacao farmers/processors of the Jones Cacao Producers Association and cacao stakeholders from the Municipalities of Jones, San Agustin, Echague, and Ramon, P/LGU representatives and DTI NC-JBC San Agustin, including Mr. Charles Lim-the Chairperson of the Isabela Provincial Cacao Industry Council (IPCIC) and Mr. Vincent Garcia of Kasama Chocolate-part owner of a Canadian-based chocolate enterprise. A huddle among the officers of the IPCIC, DTI Isabela, and DTI R2 cacao focal persons concluded the event.

The said training served as a baby step for the Isabela cacao farmers to improve their cacao produce and to stir their local economy through the industry. The DTI R2 and the PLGU Isabela will handhold and assist Isabela’s farmers towards a more robust cacao industry in Isabela province. ♦

Posted on Facebook on May 22, 2023

Date of release: 22 May 2023