(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 25 July 2024) At 3:00 AM today, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 135 km West Southwest of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro (13.1°N, 120.0°E). Meanwhile, another LPA was estimated based on all available data at 880 km East of Eastern Visayas (11.1°N, 133.8°E). 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Southwest Monsoon. Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to at times heavy rains. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to Moderate winds coming from Southwest to Southeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Friday, June 11, 2021

DA reveals which Cacao variety performs best in Caraga region

By DA Caraga

BUTUAN CITY, Jun. 11 -- Always putting the farmers’ best interest first, the Department of Agriculture (DA) –Caraga does not stop in finding ways to better serve them.

This time, to help the cacao farmers in the region, the DA-Caraga, with the Research Division spearheading, is conducting a study on the performance of different cacao clones under Caraga conditions.

The study aims to determine the best performing cacao clone, determine their profitability, and ultimately, to produce a package of technology that will be disseminated to the farmers and other individuals who are interested to venture into cacao production.

The package of technology that will be developed through the result of the study can serve as a guide for farmers to engage in cacao farming and in choosing which varieties they will plant.

The study has two phases, the first phase was conducted in 2015 to 2018, and the second phase, which is an extension of the study, started in 2020 and will run up to 2022. The study was extended so as to be able to measure the full fruiting potential of cacao which cannot be obtained in its first three years.

There are five project sites, all in Magkiangkang, Bayugan City. The five farmer co-operators were provided with the planting materials, some fertilizers, fungicide, insecticide, and farm tools and materials like pruning shear, sprinkler, net bags, saw, and boots.

The seven cacao clones included in the study are K1, K2, W10, UF18, ICS40, BR25, and Brazilian. These clones are all certified by the Bureau of Plant Industry. 

Assistant Project Leader Ailene B. Talara emphasized some important farming practices. Among these is the use of grafted planting materials for uniform growth and to ensure that the characteristics of the grafted plant will be the same as that of the mother plant. She also cited the proper care of cacao plants including weeding, irrigation, and fertilization.

Pest and disease management is also an important part of the study. Talara said that in managing pest and diseases, they are following the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). She added that they are also practicing pruning as this helps prevent pest infestation. For pod rot management, she said they make use of Trichoderma, a biological control agent.

Based on the 2020 data of the study, the top three varieties in terms of yield are the UF18 with an average yield per hectare of 895-kilogram at 1,100 hills, followed by ICS40 with 663 kilograms, and BR25 with 651 kilograms.

The early maturing clones are the W10 and K2, both of which topped in terms of flower-bearing and pod bearing. The W10 variety started bearing flowers 256 days after planting and started bearing pods 277 days after planting. The other variety, K2, also started bearing flowers 256 days after planting and bore pods 276 days after planting.

In the course of the study, the most common diseases observed were pod rot and Cherelle wilt. The most susceptible varieties turned out to be W10 and K1.

Cacao is among Caraga’s priority commodities. Although the region’s climatic and soil condition is suitable for the crop, Caraga’s production contributed only 2% of the country’s total production in 2019 at 156.78 metric tons out of 8,488.60 metric tons Philippine production.

Project Leader Reynan Mamalis said they hope that through the study, farmers will learn how to manage their cacao farms better and improve their production and eventually help boost the cacao industry in the region.

“By the end of this study, we expect to be able to identify the best performing cacao clone that suits best to our agro-climatic condition here in Caraga. We can then recommend a cacao clone that is high yielding and resistant to pests and diseases,” Mamalis added. 

Based on the Caraga Cacao Industry Roadmap 2020-2026, the region is targeting to increase its production from 156 to 300 metric tons per year. Productivity is also being targeted to increase from .59 kg/tree/year to 1.02 kg/tree/year.

Meanwhile, DA-Caraga Regional Executive Director Abel James I. Monteagudo said that the Department is always seeking ways not just to help the farmers but also to empower them to be stronger key players in the agriculture sector. (Vanessa P. Sanchez / DA13 – RAFIS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)