Five Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) will venture to cacao production after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently signed the Cacao Production and Purchase Agreement with Kennemer Foods International, Inc (KFI) involving 200 hectares of agricultural land in selected Agrarian Reform Communities (ARC) in Zamboanga del Norte.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Moh Dassan Adju said the five ARBOs are Gabu, Balas, Lawigan Agrarian Reform Cooperative (GABALARBECO) in Labason, San Miguel Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SMARBEMCO) in Mutia, Siari Valley Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SVARBEMCO) in Sindangan, Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries of Marcelo Multi-Purpose Cooperative (ARBEMCO) in Kalawit and Depane, Don Jose Aguirre, Gupot, Linay, Lingatongan, Saluyong Agrarian Reform, Cooperative (DAGLLISARCO) in Manukan.
Adju said that Php 88 million loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) will finance the cacao production under the Agricultural Production Credit Program (APCP) of which the DAR will assist the cooperatives in the submission of loan requirements to LBP.
He added that KFI have a long term growing program for the cacao farmers by providing high quality cacao seedlings, trainings, supervision and a buy-back guarantee of the harvest.
PARPO I Rizzel B. Villanueva said that a minimum of 15 hectares will be established per municipality as pilot area to serve as catalyst for good cultural practices of cacao growing.
“The DAR-KFI partnership will increase farmer’s income and farm productivity and compelled us to expand our target from 200 hectares to 1,500 hectares cacao area in the entire province,” Villanueva added.