CHOCOLATE SCIENCE: DOST-Science for Change develops tech for cacao industry

S4CP Proposal Writeshop attended by the USM NICER Cacao R&D Center and SKSU NICER Halal Goat Science and Innovation Center with DOST-XII Regional Director, Engr. Sammy Malawan

By Gilbert M. Poralan Jr.

Cloning and hybrids seem to be highly scientific and far-fetched terms.

Yet this is the science in developing higher quality cacao beans in the provinces of Region XII.

Through funding from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Science for Change Program (S4CP), the University of Southern Mindanao (USM)-Cacao R&D Center developed 45 new cacao clones and made 13 new cacao hybrids/crosses and breeding population.

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

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

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

Telephone Numbers: (+632) 8837-2943 / 8837-2071 local 2510

S4C Facebook page at @dost.s4cp