The seemingly insurmountable struggles of the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to improve the ubi and cacao industries have not punctuated, however, the endeavor for more technology are needed to come in.
The PGBh and the DA â€“ Regional Field Office 7 (DA-RFO7) had conducted the agribusiness investment forum for ubi and cacao last April 21 and 22, 2015 at the Reynaâ€™s the Haven and Gardens, Cogon, Tagbilaran City.
Senior Agriculturist, DA-RFO7 â€“ Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) Ligaya A. Ebarita in her statement of purpose clarified that the said forum aimed to promote agribusiness investment in any segment of ubi and cacao industry; to provide technical information on the investment opportunities of ubi and cacao; to encourage private and government sectors in extending assistance to the farmers and micro and small scale entrepreneurs; and to provide avenue/access to ubi and cacao product matching.
Regional High Value Crop Development Program Coordinator (HVCDP), DA-RFO7 Susan Kintanar in her message of support said the DA has always been working with the PGBh to improve the industries of Ubi and Cacao in Bohol.
Bohol is potential for ubi and cacao industries. But the problem is the province has no enough supply of ubi and cacao products to answer the big volume of demands by the investors.
On April 21, 2015 during the agribusiness investment forum for ubi, Kintanar said the DA is scheduled to distribute the 7,500 kilos of ubi tubers to the growers in Bohol who are member of the legitimate associations on March 2016 for them to plant in the next cropping on April and May.
Chief, Agribusiness Division-OPA Rosanna G. Lamdagan gave the provincial industry scenario of ubi in Bohol.
Lamdagan bared that as of December 2014 based on the Data came from the Municipal Agricultural Officers (MAO) there are 1,172 ubi growers tilling an area of approximately 136.47 hectares (has).
She said that in Bohol there are still available areas for expansion, has an organized ubi growers association in the municipalities, and the Ubi Festival has been institutionalized yearly.
Lamdagan added that there are some opportunities in the Ubi Industry to include the ongoing dispersal project of OPA, the presence of research institution and the presence of buyers coming from outside of the province.
She cited the low productivity, too small production areas per grower, not all processing facilities are operational, low buying process of buyers outside Bohol, diminishing number of ubi growers, and low yield discouraged farmers to plant ubi are the problems encountered in the ubi industry.
Head, Promotion Section-Agribusiness Division-OPA Eleno L. Evangelista also discussed about â€œBusiness Opportunitiesâ€ for Bohol.
Evangelista said the demand for ubi is high but the supply is low.
Meanwhile, on the agribusiness investment forum for cacao, Dalareich Polot from Dalareich Food Products inspired the participants to expand the industry of cacao.
She said that she bought cacao beans from Davao because the province has no enough supply.
Polot said that there is a bright future in the cacao industry because there are markets on this priority crop even outside the countries for chocolate business.
Joy Ramirez of Kennemer Foods International discussed about the marketing opportunities and cacao production.
She said cacao is a shade loving tree, that can be planted with coconut and banana.
Orman Hilot from the OPA also delved about the provincial industry scenario of cacao for and in behalf of Sergio Cuaco, Chief, Crops Division-OPA.
Isabelito Tongco and Glenn Doloritos from the office of the governor said that the PGBh under the administration of Gov. Edgar M. Chatto and Vice Governor Concepcion O. Lim has underscored the importance of cacao and ubi productions. By Atoy Cosap