Iloilo City (where our VMAs are based) has witnessed large scale developments over the past few years. Once called the Queen City of the South, the local government is gearing towards redeeming the title. This year, the Iloilo provincial administration boosts the local coffee and cocoa industry to achieve agricultural and economic sustainability.
Local farmers feel the effects of cheaper imported products for a long time. But thanks to government and NGO initiatives, emerging new local businesses promoting local produce are steadily gaining traction. With the right branding and marketing strategies, they’re slowly making a name for themselves.
The provincial government allotted millions of pesos for the financial and technical assistance to cocoa and coffee farmers in select areas in Iloilo. The Department of Trade and Industry’s cluster enhancement program also assists farmers by providing new technology for processing, packaging, and promoting their products.
As of writing, thousands of seedlings have been planted while an estimated 170 hectares are up for maintenance to ensure the crops’ survival. The local government aims to cover around 1,300 hectares in a few years with high hopes of boosting the coffee and chocolate industry in Iloilo.