DA unit to commercialize cocoa, Indian mango technologies

- Marianne V. Go () - May 1, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) is trying to commercialize two technologies involving the processing and packaging of Indian mango-based products and a sustainable cacao production system.

The technology commercialization unit ( TCU ) of BAR has been monitoring two projects being implemented by the  Quezon Agricultural Experiment Station (QAES) in Tiaong, Quezon under the DA-Region IVA office.

The two projects are funded by the National Technology Commercialization Program (NTCP), one of the major programs of BAR.

On sustainable cacao production system, the proponents expect to increase crop productivity by at least 30 percent through improved farm management and the establishment of at least 50 hectares of cacao within the four target sites in Quezon province after three years.

The target sites are the municipalities of Tiaong, Dolores, San Antonio, and Tagkawayan.

The proponents are targeting to produce 15,000 quality grafted seedlings of cacao at QAES to make it available to farmers and interested stakeholders.

Cacao is one of the commodities prioritized by the DA’s High-Value Commercial Crops (DA-HVCC) program because of its great demand in the local and international market as evidenced by rising prices of the crop.

The Cocoa Foundation Philippines, Inc. (CocoaPhil), a non-government organization, has proposed a strategic action plan to be called Philippine Cacao Roadmap.

“The plan is to intercrop coconuts with at least 50 million cacao trees, thereby producing at least 100,000 metric tons of export-quality cacao beans. If this happens, a P60,000 to P80,000 additional annual income per hectare can be gained from cacao harvest. This is definitely a big opportunity for families in rural areas,” according to Josephine Ramos of CocoaPhil.

Meanwhile, proponents of the processing and packaging of Indian mango-based products said that the glut of Indian mango during the months of April to June which brings down its price to low level pushed them to develop a value-adding product to augment the income of rural communities.

The proponents tapped the services of DOST for the different methods of prolonging the shelf life of mango-based products, different packaging materials, and suitable product brands.

BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CACAO COCOA FOUNDATION PHILIPPINES HIGH-VALUE COMMERCIAL CROPS JOSEPHINE RAMOS NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY COMMERCIALIZATION PROGRAM PHILIPPINE CACAO ROADMAP QUEZON QUEZON AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION SAN ANTONIO TIAONG
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