How to Atak Urban Gardening.

Share your backyards as a place for fruit trees or if you have no spaces to share, convince the neighborhood to plant or help people who has interest in planting.

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Let me ask you. Does cacao farming begin and end with just money alone?

We asked city and urban dwellers if they want to start their leap from being employed to being a farmer. Some would say that amidst the COVID-19 dilemma, several industries felt the gut punch straight on.

Help from the government, both monetary and food, will take a family as far as the next day.  So is there another way to augment one’s daily-weekly-monthly needs?

Learn to PLANT.

Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc., or simply PDS, has launched a program called ATAK²
(Ating Tanim alay sa Kalikasan at Kalusugan).

They heeded the call from DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu who said that “The damage from COVID-19 and climate change brings about destruction and chaos to any nation,”  and of course, DA Secretary William Dar who said that “we need to feed our bodies with the essential nutrients to keep it functioning at top capacity. There is no one miracle food to fight COVID-19 but I encourage the public to do a Whole-food diet, mostly plant based colorful food that you can prepare from scratch, preferrably from your own garden.”

Ating Tanim Alay Kalikasan (ATAK) is an agro – environmental tree planting program in urban areas of the Philippines that was conceptualized by Plantacion de Sikwate with the following objectives.

* To teach every individual to cultivate and farm fruit bearing trees within their respective properties (backyards).

* To be able to support the different greening program of the country.

* To be a model to everyone on how to make efficient tree  planting possible in urban areas in the Philippines

*To introduce healthy plant cultivation as a beneficial factor for humans and environment. 

*To share our backyards as a place for fruit trees or if we have no spaces to share, convince the neighborhood to plant or help people who has interest in planting.

* The harvests can be transformed into finished products like chocolate
tablets, candies, salads and ice cream.

Thru the help of different government agencies as well as private institutions, the ATAK¹ and ATAK² Program will propagate hundreds of thousands of seedlings to be distributed to all interested constituents of local agencies. Plantacion de Sikwate (PDS) will handle the technical support by conducting series of hands-on training seminars, free consultancies that can be arranged in person or thru social media.

* Any planter may use their harvests for their personal consumption, sell or donate to the designated buying stations that will be established strategically.

* The proceeds from sale will then be allocated for the future environmental project of the host cities or municipalities.

Who can Join this legacy?
Local Government Unit (LGU’s)
Government Organization (GO’s)
Private Companies
Civic Organization (NGO’s)
Religious Organizations
Students Organization
All individuals who are willing to be project volunteers.


– Rationale –
The Philippines is one of the countries situated near the equator that remarkably possess fertile soil, and welcoming weather conditions to grow cacao, avocado, jackfruit and malungay..
We have chosen heirloom cacao (Filipino Aromatico) as one of the trees to plant, because this kind of variety is rare (representing only one (1) percent in terms of population around the world). Hence, this is the most sought after cacao variety by the chocolatiers.

The ATAK² program can help not only chocolate makers but the Filipino Cacao Farmers thru the multiplication of this plant. The program will make the trees available everywhere  where the cacao farmers can source and extract budsticks (scion) as raw material for grafting in the propagation  of this precious plant. The success of the program will also generate PRESTIGE by recognizing the facts of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade from the country’s history.

The AVOCADOS and JACKFRUITS will also be made available everywhere where Filipinos can source and eat one of the best food of the world.
On the other hand, MALUNGAY is rich in medicinal value that can prevent illnesses so the Filipinos can stay healthy and live much longer during this pandemic.

All of the trees are healthy foods for consumption and are beneficial to the environment.

What are the crops/plants?

* Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera) is a rising star in the world of super foods. The tiny leaves of this tree may be the world’s most nutritious green. As climate change makes rainfall increasingly unpredictable for low-income farmers in the country, Moringa will become an important tool for helping communities not only nationwide and the world to take control of their own nutrition.  

* Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is one of the favorite fruits of Filipinos. Aside from its smelly sweet taste, it is considered for its high medicinal value. Sometimes the young jackfruit is cooked with coconut milk that can be served in the dining table. Also known as the ‘miracle’ food crop, it could be a replacement for staple crops under threat from climate change.

* Avocado
(Persea americana) is prized for its high nutrient value and is added to various dishes due to its good flavor and rich texture. Avocado fruits contain high potassium level. It is the main ingredient of the famous Mexican Guacamole.

* HEIRLOOM CACAO (Filipino Aromatico™) is one of the chosen mediums in tree planting. Chocolates made from this variety costs more in the global market to to its superb taste, and aroma. It may be remembered that in 1877, “cacao first traveled outside its American homeland to the Philippines aboard Manila galleons.” This kind of cacao variety is called Criollo  By planting this kind of tree we cannot only help the environment but may dearly help preserve this precious and important heritage of the country.

Answering the earlier question on “Does cacao farming begin and end with just money alone?” PDS Chief Executive Officer summarizes it all with
“Ang Sino mang tao na nagtanim ng punong kahoy sa kapaligiran ay may pagmamahal sa kaniyang kapwa, na katulad ng pagmamahal niya sa kanyang sarili ”

For more details on sponsorships, and pricing, call Mel Santos -PDS CEO, at 09175073704 or email


February 21, 2019 10AM-5PM
3/F TriNoma, EDSA cor. North Ave., Quezon City, Metro Manila

CEO, Plantacion de Sikwate
* Filipino Aromatico Heirloom Cacao
* Planting the Heirloom Cacao (nursery to field)

President/Owner – Opulento Agriventures
* Cacao Biological farming system
* Biological pest control inputs
* Crop vaccination technology

Chocolatier, CMV Txokolat
* Chocolate Bar making
* Pinoy Craft of Chocolate bars

Food Historian, Jose Rizal University
* Philippine Food and our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal


SECURE A SEAT for P3,000 (Inclusive of meals and certificate)

To Reserve a Seat, SMS/call:
Mel Santos 09167170207
Mia Concepcion 09155130093

*** All payments are to be settled on or before February 18, 2019 via
Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc.
Banco de Oro, J. Center Mandaue City Branch
Account No. 00419-032-4488
** Once you successfully have deposited your fee, take a photo of the deposit slip and send to or inbox at PDSCACAO here at FB.

Cacao Mineral Nutrition 2015

Picture1Executive summary
This literature review on mineral nutrition of cocoa was commissioned by the Scientific Committee of the Cocoa Fertiliser Initiative to address the following questions:
 What knowledge is currently available about mineral nutrition of cocoa?

 What are the current knowledge gaps?

 What are the key areas for further research?

Poor yields Current average cocoa yields in West Africa are around 400 kg/ha although yields of 5,000 kg/ha are achievable. Given the expected increase in global cocoa demand, and the diminishing incomes of cocoa farmers, there is an urgent need to increase cocoa yields.

Potential cocoa yields are determined by location and crop specific characteristics, such as climate and the crops natural life cycle, under otherwise optimal conditions. However, the availability of water and nutrients may limit production, and yields may be further reduced by weeds, pests and diseases. The gap between the potential yield and actual yield may be decreased by addressing the limiting and reducing factors with yield increasing and yield protecting measures.

As soil nutrient content in many cocoa growing regions is poor, an obvious way to increase yields is to address the nutritional needs of cocoa through fertiliser. However, the response of cocoa trees to fertiliser will remain limited unless the crop is well managed and in a healthy condition.

Potentially strong yield response to fertiliser, but differences in response poorly understood There is a strong cycling of nutrients within cocoa systems and the amounts of nutrients removed through harvest are relatively small. Yet in the long term cocoa production leads to depletion of soil nutrients. Although the soils upon which cocoa in West Africa was established used to be fertile, many of them are no longer able to provide the nutrients required to obtain good yields.

Several trials have shown that cocoa productivity can be more than doubled when fertilisers are applied. However, there is large variability in yields and fertiliser response, and in some cases fertilisers show little effect. The effects of fertilisers depend on the cocoa tree requirements and current nutrient availability from the soil, but also on other environmental conditions, presence of pests and diseases, and the management of shade trees and pruning of cocoa.

Most cocoa researchers agree that the largest cocoa yields can be obtained in systems with little shade and high rates of fertilisers under good management, but that yields show a sharp decline after 10 years of full production. Under shade, cocoa yields respond less strongly to fertiliser, but the yield decline is also less severe…
Narrow research base Various lines of research related to mineral nutrition of cocoa have contributed to current understanding, including the establishment of nutrient balances in different cocoa production systems, pot experiments, and short and long term fertiliser field trials on experimental plots or existing farms. Much of the primary research was conducted over 40 years ago. Many variables have not been adequately measured and quantified and only few treatments were compared. Research has been conducted under a restricted range of environments and regions and often for only a few years, whereas the life span of the crop can be 40 years or more. Conclusions drawn from these studies may only be valid under the circumstances under which the research has been conducted. Nevertheless, these conclusions continue to be reused and extrapolated to the present day, for instance for the establishment of (fertiliser) recommendations.

Click to learn more >> Research Materials circa 2016

Terrace & Platform Construction: For Rolling Terrains

Terrace Construction Platform

Planting Cacao trees in a rolling terrain is a good idea. To prevent your investment from doing Adele’s “rolling in the deep“; here is a suggestion for that undulating hilly / slope area.

Do a terrace construction and/or planting-hole platform prior to your Cacao Planting. This way you could avoid run-off fertilizer, growing trees that fall to its side or cacao pods rolling downhill during harvest. Do that or you could have had it all.

Cacao Production And Environmental Issues In Central America


 Growing of cocoa plants does not come without an environmental cost.  There are issues that revolve around the growing of cacao in farms and the damage caused to the rainforests by these farms.

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Brazil Shades Density Research

dana stuff

The effect of six planting densities on cacao yield of a commercial hybrid mixture as well as the interaction of planting densities with the years were investigated. Crop data collected over a 14-year period (1977-1990) showed that it was possible to optimise the regional cacao yields by implementing high planting densities (2500 and 1736 trees ha-1). This was however only true for the first half of the crop period. In the second half, low planting density (1059 trees ha-1) attained the best yields. This change in the ranking of planting densities over the years confirmed the presence of density-year interaction.

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