This story from agriculture.com.ph caught our eye. A former mailman, Grover Rosit, had six children to feed. His salary as a mailman, combined with his wife’s salary as an elementary school teacher was barely enough to pay for their school fees. Rosit knew as they got older, College fees would be difficult, if not impossible to cover on their current earnings.
Rosit knew he needed to find a way to make some income on the side, but what could he do? He started planting cacao trees little by little in some land his wife received from her father.
The land that my wife received from her father has already existing coconut trees. And to my observation, I cannot think of any other crops that are suited to intercrop with coconut other than cacao. Cacao is also healthier and can grow faster if it is planted with shadingsGrover Rosit
Rosit’s enterprise started humbly with only 5 trees, then 10, 20, then 100 trees. In fact, he ensured that he used his small savings and each week planted some more. No matter how many or how few trees, he never missed a week without planting.
Today Rosit farms around 20 hectares located in Baguio, Davao City, and Arakan, North Cotabato. Each hectare has around 800 to 1,000 trees about 3 meters apart.
Hybrid Trinitario Variety – UF18 pollinated with BR25,’ which are Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) accredited clones and National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) approved and registered hybrid typesGrover Rosit
Rosit plants Trinitario variety, as in the Philippines this has the highest yield, he states and goes on to list the other benefits associated with this variety, in the form of disease resistance and suitability for high-scale growing.
Rosit intercrops his cacao with banana, papaya, mangosteen, durian, and other fast-growing crops like cassava, and has a preference towards the bananas.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2018 stated that the Philippines had an annual production of 7,983 MT of cacao, which considering internal demand leaves little left to export.
This means that given the proper farming techniques and correct sales and marketing channels, a farmer can generate considerable profit from cultivating cacao.