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Cacao Culture in the Philippines   By: (1852-1916)

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First Page:

Philippine Bureau of Agriculture.

Farmer's Bulletin No. 2.




In charge of seed and plant introduction.

Prepared under the direction of the Chief of the Bureau.


Bureau of Public Printing.




Letter of transmittal 4 Introduction 5 Climate 6 The plantation site 7 The soil 7 Preparation of the soil 8 Drainage 8 Forming the plantation 9 Selection of varieties 10 Planting 11 Cultivation 13 Pruning 13 Harvest 16 Enemies and diseases 18 Manuring 19 Supplemental notes 21 New varieties 21 Residence 21 Cost of a cacao plantation 22


Sir: I submit herewith an essay on the cultivation of cacao, for the use of planters in the Philippines. This essay is prompted first, because much of the cacao grown here is of such excellent quality as to induce keen rivalry among buyers to procure it at an advance of quite 50 per cent over the common export grades of the Java bean, notwithstanding the failure on the part of the local grower to "process" or cure the product in any way; second, because in parts of Mindanao and Negros, despite ill treatment or no treatment, the plant exhibits a luxuriance of growth and wealth of productiveness that demonstrates its entire fitness for those regions and leads us to believe in the successful extension of its propagation throughout these Islands; and lastly because of the repeated calls upon the Chief of the Agricultural Bureau for literature or information bearing upon this important horticultural industry.

The importance of cacao growing in the Philippines can hardly be overestimated. Recent statistics place the world's demand for cacao (exclusive of local consumption) at 200,000,000 pounds, valued at more than $30,000,000 gold.

There is little danger of overproduction and consequent low prices for very many years to come. So far as known, the areas where cacao prospers in the great equatorial zone are small, and the opening and development of suitable regions has altogether failed to keep pace with the demand.

The bibliography of cacao is rather limited, and some of the best publications, [2] being in French, are unavailable to many. The leading English treatise, by Professor Hart, [3] admirable in many respects, deals mainly with conditions in Trinidad, West Indies, and is fatally defective, if not misleading, on the all important question of pruning.

The life history of the cacao, its botany, chemistry, and statistics are replete with interest, and will, perhaps, be treated in a future paper.


Wm. S. Lyon, In Charge of Seed and Plant Introduction.

Hon. F. Lamson Scribner, Chief of the Insular Bureau of Agriculture.



Cacao in cultivation exists nearly everywhere in the Archipelago. I have observed it in several provinces of Luzon, in Mindanao, Joló, Basilan, Panay, and Negros, and have well verified assurances of its presence in Cebú, Bohol, and Masbate, and it is altogether reasonable to predicate its existence upon all the larger islands anywhere under an elevation of 1,000 or possibly 1,200 meters... Continue reading book >>

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