Prof.-Dr. Hans De Steur of the University of Ghent, Belgium with Dr. Richel Lamadrid and Prof. Joel Juvinal of St. Louise University (SLU) and Central Luzon State University (CLSU) respectively, visited the University from May 31 to June 4, 2022, to monitor and determine future directions of the project “Strengthening Networking and Entrepreneurial Capacity of Cocoa Farmers and Processing Households.” The project is implemented by the University, in partnership with the earlier mentioned Universities, and funded by VLIR-OUS through the South Intensive Program (SIP).
The undertaking was set to capacitate cacao farmers and processing households with knowledge and skills to enable them to venture into cacao production and entrepreneurship. It was consist of five (5) Intermediate Results (IR) focused on Networking (IR1), Farm Training (IR2), Business Training (IR3), Developing (IR4), and Marketing (IR5). It is a comprehensive project perceived to take part in the development of the Cacao Industry in Bicol.
The partners with the CBSUA cacao project team members composed of Dr. Ramona Isabel S. Ramirez, Prof Arthur B. Estrella, Dr. Celerino B. Llesol Jr., Emerson Bergonio, and Prof. Julieta M. Casaul, Prof. Angelyn Otilla, Prof. Edmundo B. Casaul, and Prof. Ma. Teresa Lirag, conducted benchmarking of Cacao Industry in Davao, coordinated with the CBSUA Cacao Center, and had the roundtable discussion of project status and upcoming plan of activities until its completion in August 2022. CBSUA President Dr. Alberto N. Naperi participated in the roundtable discussion and shared his experience as a small cacao farmer, and shared brilliant ideas worth considering for the sustainability of the project.