Japan City eyes Davao’s cacao beans


KITAKYUSHU City in Japan could be the next destination of Davao City’s cacao beans.

Kitakyushu City officials hinted on the possibility of sourcing cacao beans from the city for its chocolate industry during Mayor Inday Sara Duterte’s visit there.

During her November 28 visit to Japan, Duterte and Kitakyushu City Mayor Kenji Kitahashi also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a Green Sister City Cooperation.

“The mayor of Kitakyushu is interested in Davao’s cacao beans as a source for their chocolate industry. They are familiar with the Malagos Chocolate as it has won various awards internationally and want to check out the possibilities in that area,” Mayor Inday said.

Kitakyushu City has offered to help Davao with its solid waste management. In turn, Davao City could supply the Japanese city with quality cacao beans.

Mayor Inday said the Kitakyushu mayor is familiar with the cacao produced by Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp. Malagos cacao beans was recently chosen as one of the best 50 (out of the 166 bean samples submitted) cacao beans samples during the International Cocoa Awards held in Paris.

Mayor Inday, who spoke before delegates of the Kakao Konex 2017 held here from December 5-6, narrated how Kitakyushu City produces peculiar chocolates.

“They produce chocolates formed into nuts and bolts and you can play with it while eating; it’s not sweet and a little bitter,” she said.

Kitakyushu City is also known as the City of Iron because of the large ironwork companies in the area. Because of this, the Neji choco, which is 57 percent made of cacao and shaped like nuts and bolts, became the most sought after souvenir from the city.

Mayor Inday said she is hopeful that the popularity of Davao’ cacao beans in the international market would allow micro and macro farms and farmers to maximize their production.

Mindanao accounts for 90 percent of the Philippine cacao production, with Davao identified as the country’s chocolate . The city government has recently launched Cacao City to help promote the city’s cacao industry. p: wjg