(Left to right) PCAARRD-Applied Communication Division (ACD) Director, Ms. Marita A. Carlos; PCAARRD Officer-in-Charge Deputy Executive Director for Administration, Resource Management and Support Services, Dr. Melvin B. Carlos; SMAARRDEC Consortium Director, Dr. Danilo B. Pacoy; and DOSCST Vice President for Research Development and Extension, Dr. Roy G. Ponce served as speakers during the media conference (Image credit: Jamsie Joy E. Perez, ACD, PCAARRD)
By: Estrella Z. Gallardo
A technology diffusion platform promoted cacao, the source of one of man’s most favorite indulgence, chocolate in Mati City, Davao Oriental.
Through the Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA), the event provided technology, information, and knowledge on cacao production. It aimed to inspire businesses that use its products, such as the cacao fermented beans and cacao tablea, for the interest of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The Davao City-based Southern Mindanao Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (SMAARRDEC) led the two-day activity, which was held on August 23 and 24, 2018, dubbed as “Wow! FIESTA Cacao sa Dabaw 2018,”.
The event, aside from production concerns, also aimed to improve the visibility and marketability of technologies generated for the above mentioned products by matching them with potential markets, processors, investors, and other local consumers.
Among the attendees were Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DOSCST) Vice President for Research Development and Extension Dr. Roy G. Ponce who represented DOSCST President Dr. Edito B. Sumile; Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) OIC-Deputy Executive Director for Administration, Resource Management and Support Services, Dr. Melvin B. Carlos; PCAARRD Applied Communication Director, Marita A. Carlos; and SMAARRDEC Consortium Director Danilo B. Pacoy, who represented Regional Research and Development Coordinating Council Chair (RRDCC) and University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) President, Dr. Lourdes C. Generalao.
Davao Oriental Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang and Mati City Mayor Carlo Luis P. Rabat were represented by their respective proxies during the event. Dr. Melvin B. Carlos signaled the opening of the event by serving as the “gong man”. He also delivered the message of PCAARRD Acting Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora.
“We hope that FIESTA can help in further strengthening Davao Region’s competitive advantage, particularly in cacao production. May this FIESTA be instrumental in the dissemination of R&D results from production to post-harvest processing, including promotion and marketing,” Ebora said in his message.
A media conference and forum on selected topics on cacao followed. The forum tackled issues and concerns on production such as the Science and Technology Community-based Farm (STCBF) on Improved Integrated Crop Management Practices for Cacao Rehabilitation in Mati City, Davao Oriental; Cacao Production Protocol and Crop Maintenance; and Growing Cacao amidst Climate Change.
For the commercialization and marketing side, the topics covered Local and International Marketing of Cacao and Price Volatility.
A farm tour then followed at Mayo & Macatora Organic Farm, an STCBF collaborator.
To the spirit of public-private partnership and community involvement, the FIESTA involved college students in a three-minute thesis pitching, poster making, and jar painting competitions. as, the tablea producers joined the local chocolate competition dubbed as Palamiay.
Part of the FIESTA was an exhibit participated in by Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) XI, The Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) XI, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) XI, University of the Philippines Mindanao (UPMin), DOST XI, Philippine Coconut Authority-Davao Research Center (PCA-DRC), Bureau of Plant Industry-Davao National Crop Research, Development and Production Support Center (BPI-DNCRDPSC), Davao del Norte State College (DNSC).
There were also the exhibit of Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST), USeP, Mining and Degraded Areas Rehabilitation Research Center (MDARRC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Compostela Valley State College (CVSC), Province of Davao Oriental, Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao, Inc. (CIDAMi), Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DOSCST), USeP, and DOST-PCAARRD.
The DOST-PCAARRD booth displayed the FIESTA concept, the Council’s frontline services, biological-based approaches for cacao pest management, and a video about the Cacao Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP). The booth also offered flyers on basic information on cacao, dubbed as “nature’s brown gold,” and cacao pest and disease management. (PSciJourn MegaManila)