Cebu PDRRMO taps cacao planting in disaster risk reduction program

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A fruit-bearing cacao tree. -- BW FILE PHOTO

GROWING CACAO trees is now part of the disaster risk reduction efforts of the provincial government. Baltazar S. Tribunalo, Jr., head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said cacao trees are “carbon sinkers”, which help reduce carbon dioxide presence in the air. Mr. Tribunalo added that cacao roots can grow up to three meters, making them good tools in flood and landslide prevention. “It helps lessen the impact of disaster,” he said. Thirty farmers from the Talisay Farmer Scientists’ Association (TAFSA) were recently trained on how to effectively grow cacao trees, which would also be a source of income for them. Mr. Tribunalo said the PDRRMO intends to train more farmers in other parts of Cebu, including Danao and Toledo cities, and the municipalities of Aloguinsan, Pinamungajan, Argao, and Balamban. The training includes the distribution of cacao seedlings purchased by the organization Salamat with the support of the Department of Agriculture, Provincial Agriculture Office, and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office. — The Freeman