The cacao industry in Mindanao is aiming to become the country’s top producer of quality cacao products that can be exported to other countries, with the effort being spearheaded by the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao (CIDAMi)
In a presentation made during the recent Asean Agricultural Summit 2017, Dante Muyco Jr., president of CIDAMi, said the organization has made significant strides in developing Mindanao’s cacao industry with the aim of making the region one of the major suppliers of the commodity in the world market.
Muyco, also the marketing director of Chokolate de San Isidro Inc (CSI)., said that in partnership with the government, CIDAMi crafted the Cacao Industry Roadmap that was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in March this year.
“CIDAMi’s vision is [to make]Mindanao a world renowned quality cacao producer,” he said in his presentation.
The Mindanao-based cacao organization also helped form the Philippine Cacao Industry Council and facilitated the formation of regional cacao industry councils throughout the Philippines. And in October this year, CIDAMi established the Chocolate Center in Davao City, which showcases the best cacao products.
CIDAMi also provided extension services to cacao growers in Mindanao in the form of technology transfer, and training of about 1,000 “cacao doctors” all throughout the Philippines. It also conducted industry promotions and linkaging and the Kakao Konek Conference, and sent missions to the United States and the European Union to make it known that the Philippines can supply quality cacao.
Among the advocacies of CIDAMi is for the country to produce 100,000 metric tons of dried cacao beans annually by 2022 from the current level of 50,000 MT.
CIDAMi is also undertaking branding initiatives for cacao products in the Philippines along with establishing an industry-wide quality assurance system in the production of the commodity.
In enterprise development, CIDAMi is assisting in the development of micro, small and medium enterprises that could also undertake value adding for cacao products.
Learning from CSI
As the marketing director of CSI, Muyco also sought to make the company as social enterprise in 2008 by integrating the players in the value chain to work together, particularly the farmer cooperatives, who were also stockholders of the company.
By 2009, CSI was exporting to The Netherland and became one of the first companies in the Philippines to export cacao products.
Muyco said CSI’s success in exporting cacao showed that community-based social enterprises are capable of participating in international trade, and even spark the development of an industry.
“Thus, a confluence of sustainable business models working as an industry, with a lot of ‘visioning’, is key to achieving competitiveness in the value chain,” he said.