MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon, Dec. 29 (PIA)—Cacao farmers in Bukidnon will now be able to grow Cacao more efficiently with new equipment that can boost Cacao beans’ quality through proper fermentation and drying.
Composed of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-10, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), and local government units (LGUs) officials, the group recently turned over a Cacao All-weather Solar Tunnel Dryer with fermentation boxes for each of the three People’s Organizations (POs) in Bukidnon.
Three groups will then manage these government’s agricultural support: One is the Buyot Upland Farmers Association, Inc. (BUFA) in Don Carlos town; Basyawon-Kisolop Small Upland Farmers Association, Inc. (BKSUFA) in Kibawe; and the Alliance of Integrated Farmers in San Isidro, Inc. (AIFSI) in Damulog municipality.
The Solar Tunnel Dryer is used to improve the quality of Cacao beans through fermentation and drying thereby preserving the rich aroma and taste of cocoa beans.
DTI Bukidnon Provincial Director Eriberto Taban-ud Jr, urged the beneficiaries to eventually improve the food chain with the use of the new equipment.
“Di nato limtan nga atong sunod nga step niini kung ma-master na nato ang fermentation kay ang atong pag-level up —gikan sa tablea, chocolate, hot cocoa, ug uban pa. (Let’s not forget that the next step after mastering the fermentation is to level-up [the value chain]—from tablea, chocolate, and hot cocoa, among other cocoa foodstuffs),” Taban-ud said.
BUFA President Gregorio Perater thanked the DTI and PENRO for the efforts in ensuring that the government’s assistance through Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management-Livelihood Enhancement Support (INREMP-LES 2) Shared Service Facilities (SSF) Project will be definitely delivered.
“Dako kaayo among kalipay ug nagpasalamat kaayo mi ani nga proyekto tungod kay maayo na man ang ang among pag-proseso panahon sa ting-harvest sa sa among Cacao. Tungod ini, mas mo-taas na pud unya ang presyo sa among pagbaligya sa produkto. (We are so grateful to the government for this grant. With this postharvest equipment that boosts the beans’ quality, Cacao beans can be sold at a premium price),” he said.
BKSUFA President Norma Adem, meanwhile, was close to tears upon knowing that BKSUFA was one of the recipients.
“Salamat gyud kaayo sa DTI nga inyo gyud mi gitagaan ug pagtagad. Wala ko nagdahom nga sa krisis nga nahitabo karon sa tibuok kalibutan, maingon nako nga pag-asa gyud ni para sa amoa nga mga mag-uuma kay lu-ag pud among uma sa Cacao dinhi. (Thanks to DTI for helping us. We also have vast Cacao fields here. With the crisis that the world is facing due to the pandemic, you gave us [farmers] high hopes),” Adem said.
Kibawe town boasts 54 hectares of Cacao that is expected to bear fruit this year and 57 hectares that will bear fruit next year, while Damulog has 211 hectares of Cacao that is expected to bear fruit this year.
Acknowledging the farmers gratefulness, DTI Regional Director Linda Boniao urged farmers to be persevering and steadfast in their goals to earn more.
“More DTI programs are coming to help farmers flourish. Ang among tuyo sa pagbisita sa lagyo nga mga lugar mao ang pagtabang nga madugangan ang kita sa atong mga mag-uuma. Busa kung ang DENR nagtabang sa inyong mga pananom, nia pud nisulod ang DTI para madugangan ang inyong kita niining inyong pananom. (In partnership with DENR, we visit far-flung areas to lift people—especially farmers—out of poverty),” Boniao said. (Julie A. Nieva, DTI 10/PIA Bukidnon)
Receive email updates from Mindanao Daily News.