The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently signed the Cacao Production and Purchase Agreement with Kennemer Foods International, Inc (KFI) involving 54 hectares of idle lands in Apurawan, Aborlan, Palawan to help agrarian reform beneficiaries’ (ARBs) need for sustainable farming and high-income enterprises.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Conrado S. Guevarra said the cacao production project is a partnership between the DAR, KFI, Department of Agriculture and Land Bank under the Agricultural Production Credit Program.
Guevarra said the Land Bank of the Philippines released an initial capital of PHP 406,000 to 33 ARBs venturing into cacao farming for the first time.
Earlier, similar undertakings had been forged between KFI and a number of agrarian reform beneficiaries organization (ARBOs) involving 200 hectares of agricultural land in selected agrarian reform communities (ARC) in Zamboanga del Norte and more than 250-hectare agricultural land in Davao City.
Guevarra added that one hectare of cacao farm is expected to yield 2000 kg of dried cacao beans per year. With cacao’s average selling price of 40/kg in the international market, an income of 96,000 per hectare per year for cacao farmers.
Guevarra added that DAR-KFI also conducted trainings on cacao production and maintenance to help the ARBs and field implementers to understand the requirements of land preparation and cacao production management through the proper application of KFI’s technologies.
“We are so thankful to the Department of Agrarian Reform and Land Bank of the Philippines for providing us financial assistance to pursue our dream to become a cacao capital in the province, and even in the whole country,” Jaime Favila, Sr., chair of Sto. Niño Multipurpose Cooperative, said.