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Philippines has global ambitions for its chocolate

Homegrown cacao is gaining market share from base in Davao

Charita Puentespina, co-founder of Malagos Agri-Ventures, ushered in high-quality cacao production in the Davao region. (Photo by Jun Endo)

MANILA -- As Philippine chocolate gains global recognition, the government is pushing the revival of the cacao industry so the country can join the ranks of top suppliers in the equatorial "Cacao Belt."

The city of Davao on Mindanao -- hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte -- has become the hub of the rapidly growing cacao industry in the Philippines. The greater Davao area accounts for about 90% of the nation's output.

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