‘Big world de­mand for ca­cao’

Busi­ness­man re­calls busi­ness growth in past years; he now trains farm­ers for prof­itable yield

Sun.Star Cebu - - SOUTHPLUS -

A HECTARE of ful­ly­grown ca­cao can send one’s chil­dren through col­lege, said a plan­ta­tion owner who con­ducts train­ings in Cebu on how to achieve a prof­itable in­vest­ment from this pre­mium tree.

If pro­to­cols on ca­cao farm­ing are fol­lowed, a hectare of 1,000 fully grown ca­cao trees yields P450,000 in gross in­come an­nu­ally, or three met­ric tons of seeds val­ued at P150 per kilo, said Grover Rosit.

If dried, roasted and formed into choco­late tablets or tablea, it will go higher at P3.50 per kilo.

Rosit Ca­cao Farms had a dis­play stall at the Capi­tol Agriculture Fair for a week.

Rosit, a re­tired postman from Davao, with his for­mer 3.75-ha. ca­cao plan­ta­tion, was able to send his six chil­dren to col­lege, and they are all pro­fes­sion­als: a po­lit­i­cal science grad­u­ate, a teacher, a com­merce grad­u­ate, a medicine grad­u­ate, a com­puter course grad­u­ate and an­other teacher.

Rosit trains farm- ers ev­ery last Sun­day of the month in his farm in Minglanilla, Cebu.


Rosit said a grafted ca­cao tree will bear fruit af­ter 18 to 24 months and will be in “full fruit­ing” mode af­ter five years for 25 years, said Gary Hon­tiveros, Rosit’s part­ner here in Cebu.

“A ca­cao is for­ever, and it can be trans­ferred from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion,” said Rosit.

Af­ter 25 years, one may cut the ma­ture tree, and its stump, shoots or scion may be used to bear fruit af­ter a year.

Rosit said world de­mand for this trop­i­cal fruit is in­creas­ing and only nine coun­tries in­clud­ing the Philip­pines are pro­duc­ing this.

“Mar­ket de­mand for ca­cao is in­creas­ing, but the area of ca­cao plan­ta­tion wala modako (didn’t ex­pand),” Rosit said.

This at­tracted more buy­ers from abroad, clos­ing deals with farm­ers and farm­ers’ co­op­er­a­tives in the plant­ing stage of ca­cao to en­sure steady sup­ply.


As early as 2013, Ken­nemer Foods In­ter­na­tional Inc. (KFII) ex­panded its con­tract-farm­ing op­er­a­tions in Leyte and Bo­hol.

Now, the com­pany has deal­ings with the Prov­ince of Cebu, its farm­ers and ma­jor co­op­er­a­tives here.

KFII sup­plies ca­cao to gi­ant choco­late com­pa­nies like Mars Inc., the mak­ers of Snick­ers, M&M and Mars Bars.

Rosit was with the Philip­pine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) as a postman for 25 years. His wife, Pa­tri­cia, was a pub­lic school teacher, but their mea­ger in­come could not sus­tain their daily needs and the school­ing of their six chil­dren.

Rosit then eyed an al­ter­na­tive source of in­come, plant­ing ca­cao in his back­yard in 1996.

He said ca­cao is con­sid­ered a high-value crop with more con­sumers than cof­fee. Cof­fee is con­sumed by adults, while the choco­late from ca­cao is con­sumed by all ages.

Af­ter 12 years, his back­yard busi­ness bore en­cour­ag­ing re­turns, so he ven­tured a plan­ta­tion in the 3.75-ha. Lot of his wife.

Three years later, in 2011, Rosit de­cided to re­tire early.

“Maulaw na ako adto kay tag-as na ang akong mga leave (I then felt un­com­fort­able hav­ing long leaves), (as) I am al­ready devot­ing more time in my plan­ta­tion,” he said.

His once “al­ter­na­tive source of in­come” al­ready far out­weighs his mea­ger salary in PhilPost. He went full-time af­ter he per­ma­nently left PhilPost and in­tro­duced a high­yield va­ri­ety UF-18 ca­cao in his plan­ta­tion.

His plan­ta­tion in­creased to 12 has., ex­pand­ing busi- ness and earn­ing mil­lions.

Rosit now sells dif­fer­ent ca­cao prod­ucts—from ca­cao seeds, he also sup­ply scions to ca­cao nibs, roasted ca­cao and tab­leya.

Rosit also pro­vides ser­vices such as farm assess­ment, farm es­ti­mate and con­sul­tancy. He also pro­vides tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance from plant­ing to fruit ca­caobear­ing trees.


PRE­MIUM YIELD. Co­coa planter Grover Rosit (left) shows his Cebu part­ner Garry Hon­tiveros a sam­ple of the UF 18 ca­cao high-yield va­ri­ety dur­ing a visit in their nurs­ery in Bar­ili, Cebu.

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