Climate change forced him to shift to cacao
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.