Saturday, July 13, 2024

Agriculture Office Eyes Expansion Of Cacao, Coffee Planting Areas In Negros Oriental

2112

Agriculture Office Eyes Expansion Of Cacao, Coffee Planting Areas In Negros Oriental

2112

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Negros Oriental’s Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) urged the expansion of planting areas for cacao and coffee in the province amid a growing market for these high-value crops.

PAO chief Emmanuel Caduyac, in an interview on Wednesday, encouraged farmers to plant coffee and cacao as there is a rising demand for these commodities.

“We are strengthening our campaign on coffee production due to a rise in coffee drinkers among the younger generations while the cacao industry is promising, so we need to improve production,” Caduyac said.

There is an increasing demand for cacao beans that are turned into chocolate drinks or chocolate candy bars by local suppliers, he added.

The PAO is training farmers’ associations on coffee and cacao production, processing, and propagation by agricultural technologists assigned in every municipality and city.

These agricultural technologists handle at least five farmers’ associations in their areas and distribute seeds and seedlings.

Caduyac said coffee and cacao production expansion sites have already been identified across Negros Oriental.

Meanwhile, to help farmers recoup their losses from the recent El Niño-triggered drought, the PAO is also continuously distributing vegetable seeds, such as okra and eggplant, and fruit-bearing tree seedlings.

He said these crops are weather-resistant and have better chances of surviving the La Niña towards the end of the year than rice and corn. (PNA)