Written by Eirene Grace Z. Arcayos, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services



USM project team with the new equipment for cacao tablea making (Image credit: Dr. Ardniel Baladjay, project leader from USM)

The  recently received new sets of equipment for mass production of cacao tablea. This is part of the project, “Tablea: Pangkabuhayan Para sa Kotabateňong Pamayanan: Community-Based Tablea Production for Sustainable Livelihood in Cotabato,” funded and monitored by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

This project is part of the Good Agri-Aqua Livelihood Initiatives towards National Goals (GALING) PCAARRD Kontra COVID-19 campaign program in response to COVID-19 economic recovery among cacao farmers in North Cotabato, specifically in the municipalities of Aleosan, Antipas, and Tulunan.

Each municipality received one each of the following: cacao grinder, cacao sheller and winnower, cacao roaster, vacuum sealer, and a cabinet. Meanwhile, 15 pieces of trays and other supplies for making cacao tablea were also turned over to each municipality.

Cacao farmers and the local government units in Aleosan, Antipas, and Tulunan expressed their appreciation to USM President Francisco Gil Garcia, project leader Ardniel Baladjay, and to DOST-PCAARRD for the full support to improve our country’s cacao industry.

According to Dr. Baladjay, one of the project’s main objectives is to address the need of cacao farmers in North Cotabato through value adding activity in the new normal. This community engagement is more meaningful when their beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to the extension services offered to them.

The project continues in 2022 and is expected to support more local cacao farmers in Cotabato through training-workshops.