ASSIST, in partnership with YARA, officially launched Cacao Productivity and Profitability (Cacao PRO) on 10 May to kick off a two-year project aimed at increasing productivity and efficiency of cacao farms in Mindanao.
Cacao PRO targets Davao City, Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley, and Agusan del Sur, where cacao productivity is yet to meet its full potential. Present in the project launch were Dario Divino from Department of Agriculture Region XI, Joseph Arnel Go, ASSIST Group Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Nicholas Gan, YARA Country Manager.
Pilot farms are in the initial stages of establishment. Four model farms will demonstrate YARA’s Crop Nutrition Project, and the results will be promoted and shared to encourage better practice in other areas. Twenty five cacao specialists will also be trained. These specialists will in turn train 50 farmers on cacao management and good agricultural practices.
“We are optimistic that this program will help address the common problems of our local cacao industry,” Joseph Arnel Go, Group COO of ASSIST said. “Right now, there’s an increasing demand of cacao globally and we believe that the Philippines will play a significant role in terms of cacao production and export.”