Mr. Fadriga shares on the great importance of cacao in the Philippine market.
Mr. Fadriga shares on the great importance of cacao in the Philippine market.

Resource speakers with the participants during the one-day cacao productivity enhancement training.
Resource speakers with the participants during the one-day cacao productivity enhancement training.

DUMAGUETE CITY (Dec 8, 2017) –  About 35 participants composed of cacao owners, growers and chocolate makers in the province attended the one-day enhancement training on cacao productivity on December 6, 2017 at PHCCI Conference Room, Taclobo, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

Organized by the  Department of Science and Technology-Negros Oriental Provincial S&T Center (DOST NegOr PSTC), the training was aimed to assist cacao growers in the province by providing them skills training on cacao farming and productivity, short course on understanding chocolate processing and the chocolate industry and training on the basics of chocolate making.

The activity is in cooperation with Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI), Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc. (PDS) and DOST Bohol PSTC. Mr. Christopher L. Fadriga and Ms. Vina R. Antopina served as the resource speakers during the said training.

The resource speakers expounded on the following topics: cacao, global cacao industry, trends in global supply and demand, cacao major users, global production constraints, country’s cacao industry, demand and price, production and propagation, its botanical background, population group, varieties, technologies and genetic resources, and establishment of cacao nursery and management. Chocolate making, types of chocolates, factors for sustainable cacao production, soil and climatic requirement, farm management and planning, crop maintenance, pruning, insect pests, diseases, control measures, harvest and postharvest processes were also discussed. Participants also shared their farm practices, annual production, areas of improvement and future plans and actions to improve the current practices.

Mr. Fadriga is a Cebu-based cacao expert with more than 20 years of experience in farming. He is the president of Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc., owner of a cacao seedling nursery in Bago City, Negros Occidental and a flower shop in Cebu City. Ms. Antopina is a chocolatier and currently the assistant provincial director of DOST Bohol PSTC. Both provide consultancy services to various organic vegetable, flower farms and chocolate makers nationwide.

“This training is very timely and crucial because the Department of Agriculture (DA) just recently distributed hybrid cacao seedlings to us farmers. We should continue learning, focus on innovating our products, concentrate more on the other hybrids and consider the market and commercial side of it,” participant Atty. Anna Pareja added.

The training was able to affirm the potential cacao advocates’ need to improve their business in different levels, from farming improvements, to process improvements, market management and innovation of cacao products. –Sean Adrian T. Guardiano/Negros Oriental PSTC S&T Media Service