The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is encouraging cashew producers and entrepreneurs in the province to process the raw nuts themselves instead of shipping them out despite high demand from regions in Luzon and the Visayas.
Mayline Delliro, trade industry development specialist of the DTI-Palawan said what they are campaigning for cashew farmers and producers to do is “value-adding.”
She said when raw cashew nuts are processed in Palawan, they would have more value, and buyers are ready to pay extra.
“Malaki ang demand ng raw cashew outside Palawan, pero value-adding ang ating pino-promote dito. Para tayo mismo dito sa Palawan ang makikinabang sa malaking kita,” she said on Tuesday.
She confirmed too, that cashew-exporters based in Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Cebu, have actually linked up with their office, looking at the possibility of Palawan supplying their needs.
Delliro added that value-adding of the product will create economic activities, and also generate employment opportunities to the locals, especially residents in the towns where local processors are located like Roxas municipality.
“Lahat ng kailangan mong materyales na sourced-locally tulad ng mantika, asukal, at mga local workers ay nakaka-contribute sya ng economic activity ng lugar. Huwag ilabas na buto muna. Ang magandang gawin ay value-add muna natin ang product para naman makikinabang ang ating probinsya,” she explained.
She further explained that local cashew producers also need to consider that Palawan has a big market for processed cashew products, especially in the tourism industry.
“Ito rin ang dapat tingnan ng ating mga local producers, ang ating tourism market. Ang tinuturo natin sa kanila ay hindi lang sa packaging, labeling, product development, kundi pati na kung paano nila e-market ang kanilang products,” Delliro said.
The DTI is continuously conducting a series of training-seminar, according to her, to address the needs of the cashew industry, particularly micro-entrepreneurs, in developing their products.
She said that there will be a training on the art of negotiation from the food processing sectors and potential booth exhibitors on June 14, 2018, where there will be market matching.
“Tinuturuan paano makipag-negotiate sa buyers at ito ay related sa marketing ng kanilang mga produkto,” she explained.
Palawan remains to be the country’s top cashew producer with a total production of 209,181.25 metric tons, which represents a big bulk of the country’s total cashew production of 216,398.07 metric tons as of July 10, 2017, according to the data of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).