DA holds investment forum on cashew and cacao in Palawan

By Celeste Anna Formoso

June 19, 2018, 10:01 pm

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan – The regional field office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) conducted here Tuesday an investment forum on current market trends in the production of cacao and cashew, hoping to expand and develop their production in Palawan.

Randy Pernia, senior agriculturist of the DA-Agri Marketing Assistance Division in Mimaropa, said in an interview that one of their agency’s current focuses is to further develop the local cacao and the cashew industry since Palawan produces a large quantity of these crops.

“This is part of the DA’s drive to develop the tree crops, and in this forum, there are various government and non-government agencies that can help the cashew and cacao industries. We have the Department of Trade (DTI), which can help us expand them,” he said.

Pernia added that cacao and cashew farmers should be equipped with knowledge about the value chain of the tree crops, or the process of activities by which they can add value to both, including production and marketing.

He said the investment forum is part of ASPIRE or Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment in Regional Expositions, a partnership project of the DA, DTI, and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) aimed at converging key players in agriculture business and industry.

“When we went to the farms, we saw that efforts are only commonly given to the production of the kernel or the nuts. It would be good if they would also have value chain so we can raise the potential of cashew so we can produce other products out of them,” he said.

Palawan has an estimated 24,000 hectares of land planted with cashew trees in Roxas, Dumaran, and El Nido – municipalities that are top producers of cashew nuts. (PNA)