Philippines can be a potential producer of cocoa. The climatic conditions and soil characteristics are conducive to growing cocoa. There is presently an increasing interest from local farmers because local and international demand for cocoa products is way beyond the production capacity of the country and world prices have been constantly favorable. With a positive attitude towards sustainable cacao production in the country, the Philippines can compete globally in the world's supply of cocoa products.
According to statistics, the country's supply reached a deficit of 44,349 metric tons a year (2005) against local consumption. Production was then nearly 5000 metric tons in 2005. Local consumption then reached nearly 50,000 metric tons. There is indeed a large demand for local production of cocoa beans. With the present civil war happening in Ivory Coast which produces about 40% of the world's cacao, major buyers (mostly from the US and Europe) are seeking alternate supply elsewhere. Cacao is considered an equatorial crop (crops that thrives well on regions occupying the equator), the Philippines has a great potential growing cacao.
Selection of Varieties
There are many varieties of cacao but the National Seed Industry Council has registered and approved only 9 varieties/clones of cacao. NSIC approved clones are the following: • BR 25
• K 1
• K 2
• UIT 1
• ICS 40
• UF 18
• S 5
• K 4
• zK 9
Some of the nine varieties are as follows:
1. BR25 (CC-99-05)
- Reddish (red with green) pod color when still young that turns yellow as it matures. - Leaves are elliptical in shape with wavy leaf margins.
- Leaf length and width ratio is 11.0 cm is to 4.04 cm.
- First flowering starts at 16.12 months and fruiting follows at 17.70 months. - Pod shape is AMELONADO characterized by an ovoid shape without a prominent point and with a diameter greater than 50% of the length. - It has superficial ridges, and a usually smooth surface, although they can be rugose in some cases with a small bottleneck. Pod index is 23.1 pods/kg of dried beans. Pod length is 17.02 cm and has a width of 7.07. The number of beans per pod is 27 and violet in color - Resistance to insect pests and diseases is moderate.
2. ICS 40
- Leaf shape is elliptical with wavy leaf margin.
- Leaf length and width ratio is 29.95 cm is to 10.01 cm.
- Starts to flower at the age of 17.63 months and fruiting follows at 19.63 months. - Pod shape is Cundeamor describe as a variety with elongated cylindrical fruit with ridges, a rugose surface, pronounced bottleneck and sharp point. - Pod length and width ratio is 16.02 cm is to 9.45 cm. Pod color is green when young and turns yellow when mature with wall thickness of 1.35 cm. - Pod index is 16.2 pods/kg with 44 beans per pod. Canopy diameter is 195 cm. Bean is striped. - Moderately resistant to insect pests and diseases
3. UIT 1 (CC-99-02)
- It has an elliptical leaf shape with wavy leaf margin.
- Leaf length and width ration 22.36 cm is to 8.13 cm.
- It flowers at the age of 16.80 months in the stage of first fruiting. - Pod shape is Cundeamor. Pod length is 20.07 cm and width of 8.65 cm. - Pod is yellow when old from the original color of green color of green when still young with wall thickness of 1.02 cm. - Pod index is 21.69 pods/kg having 46 beans/pod. Bean is violet in color. - Canopy diameter is 278 cm. Moderately resistant to insect pests and diseases.
4. K 1
- It has en elliptical leaf shape with smooth leaf margins.
- Leaf length is 31.31 cm with a mean width of 13.44 cm.
- It flowers at 23.20 months and bears fruit at 25.10 months. - Pod shape is Amelonado with a superficial ridges and a smooth surface. - Rugosity also appear in some cases. Pod index is 19.20 pods/kg of dried beans - Pod length is about 17.97 cm and has width of about...