July 18, 2024

La Trinidad, Benguet has formed its own cacao grower’s group to strengthen the cacao industry in the municipality.

Municipal Agriculturist Nida Organo said there were 29 farmers who participated during the first meeting of the newly-formed group, the Cacao Growers and Processors Association of La Trinidad, on May 17 at the Strawberry Valley Hotel and Restaurant.  

Organo said interested farmers from the barangays attended the initial meeting of cacao growers and processors.

During the meeting, the details and potential of the cacao industry was discussed along with the experiences of cacao growers and processors from other municipalities of Benguet.

She said the sharing of experience aims to inspire the participants to engage in the production and processing of cacao.

The Cacao Growers and Processors Association of La Trinidad will also become a member of the Cacao Growers and Processors of Benguet Baguio Federation (CGPBBF).

Last March, the CGPBBF convened for the first Benguet Cacao Conference, which gathered participants from the 13 towns, to strengthen the industry. The federation has also linked with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, and provincial agencies.

The DOST-Consultancy for Agriculture Productivity Enhancement (CAPE) also offered its consultancy on production, technology, and post-harvest needs of the cacao farmers.

Also, the research and development initiatives in cacao processing, especially in the fermentation process, is eyed in partnership with research and development institutes.

The exploration of the cacao industry in the province started in 2016 under then Gov. Crescencio Pacalso, who is now the consultant of the CGPBBF.

But the challenge lies in sustaining the demands for the cacao industry with the strengthening of local farmers to venture in growing and processing cacao.

The Provincial Agriculturist Office said the cacao’s climatic requirement is middle to low elevation that’s why the towns of Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, Tublay, and Kapangan are seen as suitable areas for production. – Ofelia C. Empian