IN PHOTO: Cacao INdustry players Valente Turtur,Charita Puentaspina,Neil Santillan, with the Department of Agriculture officlas led by RD Ricardo M. Oñate Jr.,Usec. Evelyn G. Laviña, Lolit Pinoon launch the Storytelling #CacaoDavao Experience social media campaign
Davao and Durian are two words which are synonymous with one another. Davao City is known for its bountiful harvest of Durian, which is evident during Kadayawan, with prices dropping as low as P50 per kilo.
However, there’s another underrated agricultural gold mine in Davao City - cacao. The Department of Tourism started promoting Davao City as the “Cacao Capital of the Philippines” in a cacao conference and expo held December 2017. During the expo, it was also revealed that industry leaders are aiming to produce 100,000 metric tons of cocoa by 2020 which can be possible; as of July 2017, Davao Region has supplied more or less 81% of the country’s cacao source for production.
Cacao is indeed a rising star in the world of agriculture. However, are the ordinary people (particularly millennials) aware of the developments regarding cacao? To raise awareness for cacao, the Department of Agriculture RFO XI started a social media campaign which will surely capture the interest of the younger generation.
Dubbed as ‘Storytelling #CacaoDavao Experience,’ this campaign was officially launched on August 9, 2018, at the Apo View Hotel. The contest runs from August 8, 2018, to November 15, 2018.
Present in the event were officials from the Department of Agriculture such as Usec. Evelyn G. Laviña, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for High-Value Crops and Rural Credit, and Region XI Director Ricardo M. Oñate Jr. Key players in the cacao industry were also present, namely Neil Santillan (MS3 Agri Ventures), Charita Puentaspina (Malagos Chocolate), Valente Turtur (CIDAMI and DAFTA), and Lolit Pinoon (Rehoboth Association).
In the welcome remarks, Director Oñate highlighted the rehabilitation program of DA-XI, which caused a positive transformation for old cacao trees, which produced ‘prolific and excellent source of beans for five chocolate markets.’ He also emphasized that ‘cacao production and processing is worth the investment,’ citing Neil Santillan as an exemplary example in inspiring OFWs to invest in Davao Cacao which resulted to award-winning Halal chocolates. He praised other leaders of the cacao industry in their efforts in raising Davao cacao’s prominence. Oñate also called on the media and social media storytellers to amplify the voice of the cacao farmers and to help promote the cacao farms as rising agri-tourism locations, where people can witness cacao farming, harvesting, and processing. He hopes for a collaboration between the farmers and consumers to help promote cacao products in the market, made possible through their social media campaign.
Noel T. Provido, chief of DA-RAFIS XI, explained the mechanics of the campaign, which state that social media users should upload original photos of cacao farms and products on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The photo taken must come with a caption which tells of the participant’s unforgettable experience. The caption is limited to 280 characters. A meaningful story should be told through the caption. With the caption, the following details should include the name, date, and the place where the photo was taken. The hashtag #CacaoDavao should accompany the caption, and Agri Info Davao (the official page of DA-XI) should also be mentioned. Social media users are encouraged to tag as many friends as they can and share their photos. The winning entry will be judged on its visual appeal, compelling narrative, resonating message, and creativity.
The winner of the Storytelling #CacaoDavao Experience will take home P20,000. The photo with the highest number of likes and shares will win the People’s Choice award and take home P10,000. Five other finalists will win P5,000 each.