Cli­mate change forced him to shift to ca­cao

Agriculture - - News -

CLI­MATE CHANGE is for real and has been af­fect­ing farm­ing in the Philip­pines. Just like the durian and pomelo farms es­tab­lished by the late Sev­erino Belviz in Davao City, now man­aged by his son Em­manuel.

Em­manuel, or Nhel, re­vealed that the La Niña in some of the past years had ren­dered pomelo pro­duc­tion prob­lem­atic. Too much rain in most parts of the year re­sulted in the poor fruit­ing of the pome­los. The fruits were not as sweet as in the old days when there was a def­i­nite sea­sonal occurrence. The rainy sea­son made it hard to con­trol rind bor­ers that at­tacked the fruits, Nhel said. The pest could be con­trolled, he ad­mit­ted, but pes­ti­cides are very ex­pen­sive and also dan­ger­ous to the work­ers. So Nhel de­cided to phase out the pomelo pro­ject and started to plant ca­cao between a few trees that re­mained.

The durian plan­ta­tion which cov­ered more than 20 hectares was also af­fected by cli­mate change. Be­cause of El Niño, many of the trees suf­fered from dieback. So, with­out elim­i­nat­ing the durian trees that were alive, Nhel also planted ca­cao between them.

A very fruit­ful four-year-old ca­cao plant at the Belviz farm.

Ca­cao between old durian trees.

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