University of Southern Mindanao develops high quality cacao clones, hybrids for chocolate industry

University of Southern Mindanao chocolate industry
The selection of the best variety of cacao requires enormous agronomic and economic data. DOST photo.

The University of Southern Mindanao (USM) Cacao R&D Center with funding from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Science for Change Program (S4CP) has developed 45 new cacao clones and made 13 hybrids and breeding populations for the Philippine chocolate industry.

The cloning and hybrids science is key to developing higher quality cacao beans in the provinces of Region XII, according to the DOST report released to the media.

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These technologies will enable local cacao production and profitability to increase by 30-40%.

The NICER on Cacao R&D Center has developed a pod breaker with a pod husk bean separator, a village-level drying facility, and a semi-automated fermenting bin for improving the quality of cacao beans.

The funding for the Cacao R&D Center is from the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER), a sub-program of the DOST-S4CP.  DOST continuously invests in science and technology programs and facilities to address the present and future challenges of local agricultural producers.

“Through R&D, practical solutions are provided to challenges in agricultural processes,” says DOST Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation and Officer-In-Charge of the Office of the Undersecretary for R&D Dr. Leah J. Buendia.

“The DOST-NICER Cacao R&D Center enables the development of varieties with superior traits like high yield, resistance to pest and diseases and tolerance to abiotic stress. Cacao breeding is a necessary science to ensure the viability and profitability of this business to farmers and the local industry,” Buendia added.

In an effort to support key sectors in Region XII, the DOST-S4CP will hold a Call for Proposals from August 15, 2022 to September 15, 2022.  This is an opportunity for Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), government Research and Development Institutes (RDIs), and non-profit S&T networks and organizations seeking funding for their R&D/S&T initiatives in SOCCSKSARGEN and all other regions of the country.

Those interested to apply for funding may send inquiries to the: Science for Change Program – Project Management Office, Office address at Department of Science and Technology, 2/F ADMATEL Bldg., DOST Compound, Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig City. Email at s4c.ousecrd@dost.gov.ph Telephone Numbers: (+632) 8837-2943 / 8837-2071 local 2510, S4C Facebook page at @dost.s4cp

DOST NICER R&D centers have developed various solutions for Philippine industries in health, marine conservation, beverage, and many more.

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.