ATI pushes cacao growers to adopt GAP

The participants were taught on the proper pruning of cacao trees.

SAN MATEO, Isabela. Cacao growers from different parts of region 02 participated in the three-day training on Good Agricultural Practices on Cacao Production held on June 25-27, 2019 in ATI-RTC 02 here in the municipality.

The said training is part of the commitment of the Agricultural Training Institute on the collective efforts of the public and private sector in strengthening the booming cacao industry of Cagayan Valley region.

The participants were encouraged to adopt the good agricultural practices following the Philippine National Standards for Cacao Production so that they can apply later for GAP Certification.

Ms. Anna Liza Claveron, the HVCDP focal person of ATI-RTC 02, presented to the growers the Cacao Roadmap. Based on the said industry roadmap for 2017-2022, there is a growing global demand for cacao beans due its uses on manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries.

According to the roadmap, ‘majority of the cacao farms in the country are smallholdings owned and managed by farmers and growers have limited technical skill and knowledge on the production, which hinders the attainment of the desired productivity and competitiveness of the industry.

Through the GAP training, it is expected that the participants will have an improve farm management to increase yield and lessen the vulnerability of their cacao plants to pests and diseases.

“Ang dami po namin natutunan, sa pag-aalaga ng cacao mula sa nursey hanggang sa pagpaparami ng bunga nito. Mabuhay ang kagaya ninyo. Nawa'y madami pa po kayong ma'tutulungan na kagaya namin at sana makabalik kami ulit at cacao processing naman ang aming maging training,” shared Ruben Pugong of Nagtipunan, Quirino.

“Maraming kaming natutunan sa training na ito na pwede naming iaaply sa aming farm, mga pinag aralang maibabahagi din namin sa ming mga lugar,” Jomar Casauay of Peñablanca, Cagayan said during their closing program.