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Cacao factory in Albay ramps up livelihood support to local community

LEGAZPI CITY (PIA5/Albay) — The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Camalig acknowledge dthe advantage of the cacao fermentation facility and farm factory of Muravah Foundation at Brgy. Sua, Camalig, Albay, which creates work opportunities for cacao local farmers.

‘’We found out that our residents who are planting cacao help the said factory to supply their products,’’ Camalig Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo said after his visit on Wednesday, May 10.

‘’Through this system, aside from promoting sustainability and quality of products, we are also supporting our cacao farmers to have a continuous profit,’’ he added.

According to Camalig Public Information Office (PIO), Muravah Foundation is working with 500 small farmers which also increases their income by four times by including their cacao products in the manufacturing process.

PRODUCED | Innovative locally crafted chocolates from cacao product in cacao fermentation facility and farm factory of Muravah Foundation at Brgy. Sua, Camalig, Albay. (Photo courtesy of: Camalig PIO)

Muravah Foundation was founded by Bob Murray which aims to uplift the livelihood of the community and support local farmers.

‘’[We are] forming a farmer’s association to create work opportunities, providing input loans, creating a reliable water supply, environmental awareness initiatives and so much more,’’ Murray said.

‘’For me, this is a life-long commitment. Moving people out of poverty is one thing, but keeping them out of poverty is the ultimate goal,’’ Murray added.

The foundation’s vision is to ‘Act Local, Think Global’, wherein their brand ‘Mayon Gold Chocolate’ produces the finest premium dark chocolate made from cacao pods and innovatively crafted which is in demand on the market due to its health benefits.

‘’As chocolates have the capability to arouse sensory pleasure and ‘feel good’ chemicals or endorphins, the Philippine cacao industry would hopefully lure more farmers to engage in cacao production as it has great economic potential and is on the upward trend,’’ Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol Information Officer Lovella Guarin said.

Based on the Philippine Cacao Industry Roadmap formulated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and DA cacao may significantly contribute to poverty alleviation and inclusive growth through livelihood and job generation.

Due  to the suitability of cacao as an intercrop, its advantage is the two-week harvest interval and early gestation period of 18 months which guaranties early return of investment.

As stated in the Muravah foundation website, cacao crop farming was successful in the Philippines due to its perfect climate for growing cacao and its chocolate were sold under a profit share arrangement, giving additional income back to the farmers.

Baldo said that aside from producing different products from cacao, the said foundation is also active in helping the community through providing work, house and education for children. (PIA5/Albay)

Cover photo courtesy of: Camalig PIO

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Cyryl Montales

Writer PIA/Albay

Region 5

Amor Fati

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