Industry Strategic Science and Technology Plans (ISPs) Platform

Cacao Industry Profile

Cacao is popularly linked with chocolates. In the Philippines, cacao beans are often processed into a “tableya,” a traditional chocolate confection used in making desserts. Among the Asian countries, the Philippines has a competitive advantage for cacao production due to its strategic location, good climatic conditions, and favorable soil. However, despite its competitive advantage, cacao production in the country can still not meet the current requirements of the growing cacao-based industry due to several problems affecting the industry. Thus, it resorts to importing cacao beans from other producing countries. 

Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the Philippines produced 9,341 MT of cacao beans in 2020. The Davao region is the top producer with 7,258 MT of cacao beans, followed by Central Luzon and Zamboanga Peninsula with cacao bean production of 338 MT and 329 MT, respectively.

Problems in the Industry

Some of the identified impediments to cacao production in the country include non-availability of correctly labeled high yielding varieties (HYVs) for planting, thus, farmers frequently resort to planting low yielding and poor quality planting materials; inadequate information on the genetic characterization for specific cacao traits that will improve yield and quality of beans. Low survival and yield in the nursery and plantation due to pest and disease infestation, and inadequate preventive and control measures against pests and diseases; low yield due to unproductive or old cacao plantations; unavailability of reliable maps and information on existing cacao plantings and suitable areas for cacao growing; availability of appropriate innovative equipment to detect defects at early stage of cacao processing to avoid low quality products and improper waste management in cacao post-harvest and processing.

ISP for Cacao

PCAARRD ISP on Cacao envisions to increase cacao bean yield, thereby increasing income
of smallholder cacao farmers in the countryside.

Strategic R&D

Strategic R&D is DOST-PCAARRD’s banner program comprising all R&D activities that are intended to
generate outputs geared towards maximum economic and social benefits

Technologies

Products, equipment, and protocols or process innovations developed to improve productivity, efficiency,
quality, and profitability in the agriculture and aquatic industries, and to achieve sustainable
utilization and management of natural resources

Cacao Sensor for Quality Measurement

A device was developed that can measure the quality of wet cacao beans prior to fermentation and good quality beans. The instrument comprises several sensors that measure the sugar content,...

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Technology Transfer Initiatives

Technology transfer initiatives ensure that the outputs of R&D and innovations are transformed
into viable and applicable technologies that help intended users

Capacity Building

Capacity building efforts of DOST-PCAARRD seek to develop and enhance the R&D capabilities of researchers
and academic or research institutions through graduate assistantships & non-degree trainings
and development and/or upgrading of research facilities

Manpower Development

Policy Research & Advocacy

Analysis of policy concerns and advocacy of science-informed policies ensures that the AANR policy environment is conducive for S&T development
and investments
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Competitiveness of Philippine Cacao Production under the ASEAN Economic Community

Producing cacao in the country was found to be cheaper relative to importing from other countries, which makes Philippine cacao competitive under the import substitution scenario. This implies that the country should focus on improving the local industry. Sadly, results show that the country will lose its import competitiveness if yield (1.50 mt/ha) declines by only 9 percent. However, it also highlighted that the country is close to becoming export competitive if given a 2 percent increase in yield or a 2 percent decrease in domestic cost.

Reference:

Lapiña, G. F. and Andal, E. T. (2017). ASEAN Economic Community: Opportunities and Challenges for the Crops Sector. Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines: Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources