WMSU To Become Regional Cacao Center
September 7, 2011
Dr. Milabel E. Ho (standing) shows a bar of processed cacao.

Dr. Milabel E. Ho (standing) shows a bar of processed cacao.

The College of Agriculture (CA) of the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) will soon become the Mindanao Training Center for Cacao to focus on establishing a cacao nursery and the production and development of cacao products to be tied up with other entrepreneurial ventures of the college.

This is the vision of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) entered into by WMSU, represented by its President Dr. Grace J. Rebollos, and the Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. (CFPI), represented by Mr. Edward David, President, sometime in September.

With its tissue culture facility, David is certain that WMSU-CA will be able to intensify cacao seedling production. He said that CFPI is targeting the planting of some 50,000,000 cacao seedlings. He encouraged the college to go into organic planting of cacao seedlings and intercrop the plants with coconut trees.

Considering the rich technical expertise of WMSU-CA’s faculty and staff, David likewise hopes that it will go into research on cacao pests and diseases control, as well as produce hybrid cacao varieties of the plant. David informed that cacao plants in the Philippines come from Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Brazil.

Finally, David looks forward to seeing the college go into cacao product development, viable cacao entrepreneurial ventures and share the technology with people in its environ, just like what it has done with coco sugar. Such a move would certainly help boost the region’s economy, David concluded.

The MOA between WMSU and CFPI was signed on September 6 at the WMSU-CA campus in San Ramon, this city, in the presence of Dr. Milabel E. Ho, WMSU Vice President for Research, Extension and Development and con-current VP for Academic Affairs; Dean Eriberto Salang of CA; Atty. Eduardo Sanson, Dean, WMSU College of Law; Dr. Ma. Socorro Yvonne Ramos, Chief of Staff, Office of the President, WMSU; Ms. Divina Amalin, Project Manager, CFPI; and other officials of the university. (Ms. Evelyn C. LuceƱo, PAO-WMSU)