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Agriculture Undersecretary for Special Concerns Bernadette Romulo-Puyat visited the cacao plantation and processing Centers in Davao region Monday to observe and replicate technologies on cacao production in other parts of the country. 

Known  for its global market potential, cacao has been identified as one of the priority commodities that will help not only to boost the agriculture sector but also increase the income of Rural Based Organizations (RBOs) such as Women’s organization. 

“Gusto ko lang tingnan dito ang role ng kababaihan at pati din yung mga post-harvest facilities on cacao production na gender sensitive na madali para sa mga babae dahil gusto nating bigyan ng kabuhayan ang ating mga kababaihan”, Puyat said. 

Accompanying with her is the Rural Improvement Club (RIC) officers from region 12 and Agusan del sur Representative Ma. Valentina Plaza who observed the technologies to be transfered in their area. 

“Andito sila ngayon kasi from Gender and Development (GAD) din sila, gusto nila makita ang best practices dito para pwede din nila ma-implement sa lugar nila,” she added. 

Under the law, five percent of the Department of Agriculture’s regional budget will be alloted to empower women and Puyat is strengthening this mandate. 

She also visited the Mars Cocoa Development Center (MCDC) , Cocoa Philippines and  Shawn Askinosie located around Calinan, Baguio district. In those areas, Puyat acknowledges how women in these areas participated in cacao production from planting to post harvest handling. 

She said increasing production areas for cacao plantation is one of the priority of the Department. DA will be helping the farmers by giving  quality planting materials. This concept was supported by Davao City Councilor Marissa Abella and Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Incorporated (CIDAMI)  Executive Director Val  Turtur along with Director Recoter. (Aggie Media Service)