The Philippines is relatively suitable for growing and producing quality cacao beans and can be a lucrative agri-business enterprise considering the strong domestic market and established access to export markets, an agricultural expert said.
Josephine Ramos, operations chief of the Cacao Foundation of the Philippines, Inc., said this during the “6th Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition” held at the SM Mega Trade Hall.
The activity is a yearly activity of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) showcasing the latest technologies in the fields of agriculture and fisheries.
In her presentation, Ramos gave an overview/situationer of the cacao industry and its potential and impact to the farming community.
According to her, cacao production in the Philippines produced an estimated 5,000 metric tons (MT) of cacao beans in 2007 and could possibly reach 100,000 MT in 2020, provided that good and quality beans are produced.
In 2010 world grindings of cocoa beans is projected at 3.6 million tons, reflecting an average annual increase of 2.1 percent.
Consumption will continue to be concentrated in developed countries, which are expected to account for 64 percent of world cocoa consumption.
In Japan, for example, imports are expected to increase from an annual average at 48,000 tons in 1998 – 2000 to 56,000 tons in 2010. The continuing demand for good quality fermented beans is an opportunity for local farmers to snatch some of the global demand, she concluded. (PNA)