Stakeholders from Negros Occidental were elected as members of the Negros Island Regional Cacao Industry Council during the Regional Cacao Industry Convergence Technology-Investment Forum held in Dumaguete City last week.
Juan Musa Jr. of the Cadiz, Sagay and Manapla Planters Association was elected as chairperson, Ana Priscila Paraja as vice chairperson for the private sector, and Department of Agriculture-NIR OIC-Regional Director Joyce Wendam as vice chairperson for the government sector.
Line agencies and banks that form the government sector are the Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Environment and Natural Resources, and Science and Technology departments, and Land Bank of the Philippines and Security Bank of the Philippines.
Four members from the private sector were also selected based on the value chain — the Central Philippine State University in Kabankalan City was chosen as member from the academe, Edgardo Uychiat of the Cacao Growers Association and Rosario Villareña of the Patag United Farmers Association from people's organizations, and Jonathan Bayona from Bayona Farms.
One of the initial plans of the council is to plant 122.7 hectares of cacao seedlings in the region. NIRCIC is planning to assess the current number of cacao trees and find sources of seedlings to supply the first phases of the cacao industry programs.*KBC
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