January 24, 2018, 3:38 am
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‘Cacao tourism’ pushed in Davao

The Philippines’ fast-growing cacao and chocolate industry will boost a promising farm tourism that caters to international and local visitors looking for a wholesome fun and adventure in the countryside.

“Farm tourism in the country has thrived on the best practices and growth of cocoa industry,” said Sen.  Cynthia Villar in her keynote address to over 2,000 cacao growers and entrepreneurs from all over the country, who gathered for the conference and exposition, dubbed as “Kakao Konek 2017” last week at the SMX Lanang, Davao City.

Villar authored Republic Act 10816 titled “Farm Tourism Development Act,” that mandates the promotion of tourism at agricultural destinations through partnership with the private stakeholders.

Davao City and environs boast of vast greenery, including nature park and farm resorts, like the Malagos Resort, Eden’s Nature Park, Hijo Banana Resort, Gumamela Caverock Farm Resort, Pearl Farm, among others.

At the two-day conference and exhibit, the Department of Tourism (DOT) launched  “Chocolate Tour Overload” that featured Davao City as the “Cacao Capital of the Philippines.”

Mindanao accounts for 90 percent of the local cacao production with Davao as the country’s chocolate capital..

“We believe in the perfect marriage of farm and tourism as showcased by the sweet success our cocoa growers and chocolate producers, like the Malagos chocolate,” said DOT Assistant Secretary Eden Josephine David, David noted  the Malagos Puentespina Chocolates, produced in a self-sustained 12-hectare cocoa farm resort in Malagos, Davao City, was among the top 50 awardees of the Salon de Chocolat held in Paris recently.

“The challenge of achieving 100,000 metric tons of cacao by 2020 stays, and this can only be achieved with both private and government sectors working together,” said Dante Muyco, president of the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao (CIDAMI), the event’s main sponsor.
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