Implications of Gender Attribution for the Cacao Value Chain of Davao City, Southern Philippines

  • Mitchiko Lopez University of Philippines Mindanao
  • Merlyne Paunlagi University of the Philippines Los Baños
  • Larry Digal University of Philippines Mindanao
  • Rowena Baconguis University of the Philippines Los Baños


Known as the chocolate capital in of the Philippine, Davao City account for 80%–90% of the country’s total volume of dried cocoa beans. Production targets were set at 100 MT of dried cocoa beans by 2022. This is anticipated to alleviate poverty through livelihood and job creation. However, there are scant studies on whether women receive equitable benefits across the cacao agricultural value chain in Davao City. A gendered approach across the different nodes of the cacao value chain may provide rich insights that can help address issues of equity in the cacao chain. Based on a 2018 survey conducted for this study, smallholder cacao farmers devote an average of 3.72 h per day in cacao production: 55% of the work required is done by males and 45% done by females. Male household heads generally make decisions regarding market channels for the beans and are mostly responsible for bringing them to market. The distribution of the sale of cacao beans remains a gray area, and it is unknown whether this is shared equitably to women in the household according to their production contribution. Children’s involvement in cacao production is considered family labor, and women are still expected to run the household. But women’s contributions are oftentimes viewed as an extension to household chores. Hence, a more detailed gender attribution in other nodes of the cocoa value chain (e.g., processing and trading) may provide a more realistic picture of work requirements, equitable benefit distribution among actors, and address sustainability issues in cacao commodity value chain in the region.

Session G2