The economy of the Philippines is dynamic, rapidly growing, and before 2020, was making progress at becoming an upper middle-income country. Yet, it also faces a range of economic challenges. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the country’s resulting lockdown, the Philippines economy shrank because of a reduction in its exports, tourism, and remittances. Despite this downturn, many agricultural sectors continue to present economic opportunities, such as cacao in the country’s southern Mindanao region. This thriving sector produces 80% of the country’s cacao which is primarily processed and consumed nationally. However, with limited investment and specialized skills within the cacao sector, this means production remains low, particularly among small- scale farmers, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), women-led co-operatives and associations. Mindanao also has one of the highest poverty rates in the Philippines, and like the rest of the country, has suffered from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Years Active


Technical Areas

Market systems, Gender equality, Environment and Climate Change

Primary Value Chains/Sectors