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Written and Photos, Taken by Radel Llagas

The Department of Agriculture Region IV CALABARZON High Value Crops Development Program conducted recently a two-day training on code of good agricultural practices (GAP) on cacao production at the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, BP International Makiling, Los Baños, Laguna.

Some 70 cacao farmers from 10 municipalities/cities of Rizal came, while 80 cacao farmers from 19 municipalities/cities of Laguna came.

The main purpose of the training is to equip the participants with technical knowledge on cacao production and prepare them for GAP certification since the training is actually a prerequisite before a farmer can apply for GAP certification.

Among the resource speakers were: Regional Focal Person for Cacao Ma. Ana S. Balmes who discussed the performance of cacao industry in the region; Farm Superintendent II Eva B. Pugay who explained the GAP concepts and principles as well as GAP certification scheme and internal guidelines; Kakao Integrated Development for Livelihood and Transformation (KIDLAT), Inc. Technical Consultant Marigel M. Bacalso who shared the package of technology on cacao production such as cultural management, cost and return analysis, and postharvest handling and storage; Regional Crop Protection Center Chief Cecille Marie C. Manzanilla and Senior Science Research Specialist Pamela F. Marasigan who both discussed cacao pest and diseases management; and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority Provincial Chief for Laguna Romulo N. Crucillo who explained the safety use and handling of agrochemicals.

Right after each topic discussed, the participants had a chance to ask questions.

“Maganda ang pagpapaliwanag ng mga topic kaya talaga namang mapagbubuti pa namin ang aming pagkakakaw (The explanation of the topics was really good and we are quite sure that our cacao production will improve),” Narding Alyona of Baras, Rizal said.

The next training on code of GAP on cacao production will be for Batangas cacao farmers and will be held on July 4 – 5, 2018 at St. Jude Cooperative Hotel and Event Center, Tayabas City, Quezon.

For more information, you may contact (02) 928 3919 and look for Ma. Ana S. Balmes.

It must be recalled that cacao farmers from the province of Quezon were the ones who first attended this kind of training.