PUERTO PRINCESA CITY: The provincial government of Palawan is ready and willing to provide technical support, seeds, fertilizer and financial assistance to Palaweños, who would be interested to farm the high-value crop cacao.
Dr. Myrna Ordinario-Lacanilao, provincial livelihood sector chief, said Gov. Jose Alvarez is willing to provide all to any potential cacao farmer.
Lacanilao said each hectare of land that will be devoted to cacao farming will entail an expense of P85,000.
She said the provincial government is willing to lend the amount, and borrowers will be given three years before they start their payments. The idea, she furthered, is so that they have already done their preliminaries in cacao farming.
Each hectare, she said, can earn a cacao farmer an income of up to P149,000 from the cacao beans.
The amount that can be taken as loan, she added, can also be paid earlier than three years for the farmer to be able to sell his harvested “cacao beans” directly to the market.
Lacanilao said the provincial government is targeting to farm cacao in 1,000-hectare of land at present; 5,000 hectares in 2015; and 6,000 hectares in 2016.
The program is centered on the municipalities in southern Palawan except for the town of Narra, where the provincial government would like to concentrate on rice farming, and in Balabac, where the focus would be on seaweeds farming.
“It is Governor Alvarez’s aim to uplift the standards of living of Palaweños that is why his administration is working hard on the livelihood sector under IHELP… for effective implementation of cacao farming in Palawan,” said Lacanilao.
She assured that the supplier the provincial government will get for the project will be the one to also provide technical help, seeds and fertilizer, and also labor.
Lacanila said Alvarez’s administration will work hard to find a market for the cacao beans that will be harvested by the farmers.
“The governor wants to make sure that there will be a sure buyer of the cacao in Palawan,” Lacanilao said, adding she also once farmed cacao but it was not successful for lack of market.
She said that based on research, the demands for cacao that cannot be delivered in the domestic and international markets are 126,000 metric tons, which means the demand is high but the supplies are not enough. PNA