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Albay Gov. Bichara joins Sen. Villar in Indonesia for a study tour on cocoa production

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Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara joined Senator Cynthia Villar in Indonesia for a study tour of the best practices in cocoa production.

The Philippine delegate had the chance to visit the Cargill’s Cocoa Promise Project Site in Jakarta.

“Invitational visit at the Cargill’s Cocoa Promise Project Site in Indonesia with Senator Cynthia Villar,” Governor Bichara said.

Senator Villar said that they had a “very insightful and informative” talks with Cargill, noting that the Philippines has a “very good advantage” in cacao farming.

“I filed Senate Bill No. 320 or the ‘Cacao Industry Development Act,’ aimed at establishing a national program for the cacao industry to enhance the competitiveness of Filipino farmers,” Senator Villar said.

“The Philippines’ current cacao production levels are not even enough to meet local demand,” she added.

Citing Agriculture department’s data, Villar said that the average local annual cocoa demand is 50,000 metric tons (MT) a year, but the local supply is only 10,000 MT annually.

“Global demand is expected to reach 4.7 million to five million MT of dried cacao beans by 2022. We can seize those market opportunities,” said the Senator.

Villar said that Cargill works alongside farmers, producers, manufacturers, governments, and other organizations on safe and sustainable agriculture for communities.