SEVEN Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in Davao recently signed a Cacao Production and Purchase Agreement with Kennemer Foods International, Inc. (KFII)
In the contract signed on June 20, the ARBOs committed to produce cacao and sell their output to KFII for 10 years. The contract growing area covers some 274 hectares.
In a text message to BusinessWorld, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Region 11 Assistant Director Venchito S. Mandap said that the seven ARBOs are ARB Cooperative, Carmen Agricultural Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Balacan Development Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Suawan Proper Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Fatima Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Callawa Bonggan Employees ARB Cooperative, and Latungan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, all in Davao City.
“These co-ops were able to access a loan assistance through the Agrarian Production Credit Program worth a total amount of P21 million,” he said.
The seven ARBOs represent 333 individual Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs).
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Office 11 Ernesto B. Tan said that these beneficiaries will be establishing a cacao nursery with the help of KFII. The produce will then be sold to the company.
KFII President Simon Bakker said that the company will purchase all cacao beans produced by the seven ARBOs at not less than 70% of the world market price.
Mr. Bakker added that the farmers will be given high-quality cacao seedlings, and they will also be trained on the proper cultivation of the beans.
The Department of Agriculture is also eyeing an increase in cacao production.
Recently, cacao was selected for Davao del Norte’s Priority Commodity Investment Plan under the P27.5-billion World Bank-supported Philippine Rural Development Program, which is aimed at identifying and supporting the development of a champion crop from each region. -- Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas