Getting up before the sun rose on June 15, municipal officials led by Mayor Glenn Baricuatro went out for a walk to Pinamungajan's barangays Mangoto, Sacsac and Tutay.
The event was not just a spur of the moment decision to get an exercise.
The mayor wanted the “Lakaw Bukid” to be a regular activity for the town leaders to bring the government closer to the communities it has promised to serve.
Accompanied by Councilors Julius Alpas, Lito Cerna and Richard Canillo, as well as captain JC Managaytay and Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Armando Ordaniza, Mayor Baricuatro inspected ongoing projects and wanted to see firsthand the needs of his people.
With the breathtaking view of the uplands, they trudged along rocky mountain trails and found themselves at the Sacsac Farmer’s Organization’s Cacao Nursery located at Rudy Bangeran’s farm.
The cacao nursery housed 37,500 seedlings and thousands of sangil tree seedlings which will be distributed to all the members of Sacsac Farmer’s Organization.
The cacao farming project was supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources under the National Greening Program and the Municipal Government.
The leaders were pleasantly surprised. The cacao farming in Pinamungajan is flourishing.
It is not just the Sacsac farmers that are into cacao farming.
When the municipal officials went out again for another 'Lakaw Bukid' the week after, passing through barangay Anopog to barangays Camugao, Lamac, Sibago and ending up at Punod, they saw another huge cacao nursery operated by Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
The farm in Lamac has at least 50,000 cacao seedlings.
Kennemer Foods International has partnered with the Lamac Multi-purpose Cooperative for this project, which is said to be a first in Cebu.
Being the pilot area, the farm in Pinamungajan will then distribute seedlings to other areas in the province.
The Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative shelled out money for the seeds, while Kennemer Foods International provides the needed technology and trainings.
The Cacao farming may not be a new venture in Pinamungajan, but there is a dramatic increase in the number of farmers investing in the agricultural endeavor.
With that, Pinamungajan may soon earn itself the name as the “cradle of cacao farming in Cebu.”