Zamboanga Peninsula - Cacao production will soon rise here as Zamboanga del Norte’s Cacao Production and Marketing Enterprise has finally secured the go signal from Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).

The Cacao Production and Marketing Enterprise is a five year business plan with a total project cost of P45.5 Million under Investment in Rural Enterprises and Agricultural and Fishery Productivity (I-REAP). It is the first PRDP subproject implemented in Region 9, according to I-REAP component head Ferdinand Gamorot.
However, he said it will be implemented in two separate packages. Package I is worth P33,995,304 for infrastructure component as well as for cacao production and farming support. Package II costs P11,555,352 as enterprise capital for fermenting and drying and trading. Based on the business plan, Package II implementation will be in the 3rd quarter of the 2nd year of Package 1 implementation.

“This is actually teamwork. This is not only the work of World Bank or NPCO, but all of us from PSO, RPCO, LGU officials, both at the provincial and municipal levels, and of course our farmers,” Gamorot in his message during the recent ground breaking ceremony for the construction of nursery and vermicast facility in Barangay Segabe, Piñan, Zamboanga del Norte.

Gamorot, who represented DA Regional Director Constancio G. Alama, congratulated the team effort and perseverance of the PLGU Zamboanga del Norte as well as the proponent groups because it is almost 3 years since the business plan was prepared and hurdled technicalities and finally, it is on the implementation stage.

Gracing the event to represent Governor Roberto Uy, Vice Governor Senen Angeles, on the other hand, expressed high hopes for this project’s success, saying: “this project is not only for the benefit of the proponents, the farmers but this is for the benefit for all of us. Let us help one another and we will succeed in this project.”

“It’s not really very easy to have this project a reality now. We passed many challenges. In fact, we are very thankful that with the concerted effort of our partners, the private proponents, we realize this project,” the vice governor added.

The nursery and vermicast facility are infrastructure component of the cacao production under Package 1 with a total cost of P2,138,000. Its construction is cost shared at 80% from World Bank’s Loan Proceeds (LP) while Government of the Philippines (GOP) and PLGU Zamboanga del Norte equally share 10 percent each.
Aside from infrastructure, Package 1 includes cacao production and farming support where the Proponent Groups (PGs) shell out the cash capital amounting to P4,883,799.00 and in-kind of P13,576,958 representing 57.9% of the total enterprise cost. The other 42.1% amounting to P13,396,547 are co-shared by WB, GOP and PLGU at 80-10-10 cost sharing, respectively.

Proponent groups are led by Sindangan FACOMA Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative with members Piñan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PIMPCO) and People’s Officials, Employees and Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (POEMCO), Gamorot elaborated.

Cacao is considered as emerging commodity in Zamboanga del Norte. Of the three provinces in Zamboanga Peninsula, Zamboanga del Norte has the most number of cacao growers and has more organized cooperatives now venturing on cacao production.

With PRDP’s intervention, the 3 proponent groups shall involve a total of 450 farmers who committed 1 hectare each to be planted with cacao. In five years time, they are expected to produce some 1.7 metric tons of wet cacao beans to add the 2% current production share of Zampen to the total 90% produced from Mindanao, the source said.

By that time, Zamboanga Peninsula can help supply the Philippines commitment to produce 100,000MT cacao beans by the year 2020 and onwards.#

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