Supporting the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) is a priority for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, as well as for Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) OIC Secretary Rosalina Bisyotong. The ARBs who are also members of the Barangay Agrarian Reform Council and Farmers Association (BARFCA) in Glan, Sarangani Province participated in a series of educational process to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.
Spearheaded by the DAR, the training was conducted under the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP), of which the BARFCA was qualified for a P24.4 million worth of loan.
The training aims to participants to become certified cacao doctors, in turn better running their cacao agri-enterprises. It also focuses on specializing in high quality cacao beans.
The Cacao Doctors' Training Module 1 was completed at the Kennemer Cacao Center in Brgy. Mankilam in Tagum City. Kennemer Foods International, Inc. is an agribusiness company focusing on trading, sourcing, and growing high-quality agricultural crops sourced from smallholder farmers.
According to Felix Frias, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer, the training aims to help the ARBs address the local and global demand of cacao with the intention to produce larger quantities, with better quality cacao beans.
The six-module training, attended by nine beneficiaries, include pre-planting activities, identification and discussion about pests and diseases common to young cacao plants, and tackling best agricultural practices in the cacao industry.
Substantial and empowering, the training will aid future certified cacao doctors to provide their technical expertise to BARFCA members who availed of the loan. The cacao doctors will also be the consolidator of beans under the buying program, distributors of planting material and inputs and providers of pruning and rehabilitation support services.
Five more modules of the six-module training are scheduled in the coming months.