Green World Philippines

An Agroforestry Partnership for Cocoa Production

Green World Campaign (GWC) is collaborating with nonprofit international agriculture specialists ACDI/VOCA on an exciting new project in the Philippines.  ACDI/VOCA  has managed agroforestry projects in the Philippines since 2002. They offer  an invaluable resource to Green World Campaign’s mission to reforest our planet, raise the living standards of the rural poor, and combat global climate change.  Existing and upcoming cocoa and agroforestry projects will be managed and geo-tagged by ACDI/VOCA, with the GWC contributing to capacity-building, verification,  funding, carbon offset evaluation, public participation, and other activities.

The specific regions that reforestation efforts will be concentrated is western Mindanao, Davao and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).  These regions offer favorable growing conditions for the plants, and are in need of reforestation as the high poverty rates in this region create considerable pressure on the forests.

This collaboration will focus on implementing the 2006-2009 SUCCESS program (Sustainable CoCoa Enterprises for Smallholders) and the upcoming CoCoPal (Coconut, Cocoa and Palayamanan [integrated rice systems]) project (2009-2012) in the Philippines. The Philippines SUCCESS Alliance is distributing 1.2 million seedlings of improved cacao varieties to farmers, for planting as part of biodiverse cropping systems featuring cocoa, coconuts, fruit trees as well as other agroforestry tree species. CoCoPal will also add a food security component by adding  tree-cropping and marketing products, both forest and crop-related) to farming systems now based on rice, maize and tubers. Under CoCoPal, several million plant seeds and seedlings will be distributed to farmers. The emphasis will be to distribute plant materials that are compatible to the food and income based farming systems concept, called Palayamanan.

Activities include technical assistance, establishing nurseries, gardens, demo farms and Farmer Field Schools, performing the monitoring and evaluation, supplying administrative support, and coordinating with the local government and non-governmental organizations to carry out the reforestation activities.

The Goal: Plant 1.2 million seedlings of improved cacao. Add new agroforestry crops and sustainable forest products. Implment rigorous geospatial monitoring.

"Palayaman" is a system of farming for rice, cocoa, and coconut, and will integrate the planting of three important species: Moringa oleifera (Malunggay) , Swietenia sp. (Philippine Mahogany) and Cannarium Ovatum,  (Pili nut) into a farming system. These tree crops provide a variety of services including food, shade, herbal medicine, soil nutrients, and animal feed.  When planted and established, they also provide an extensive range of environmental services including watershed protection, soil protection, carbon fixation, and promotion of biodiversity.and will fit very well into the following thre- tiered farming system:

Tier 1: Tall trees (>15 m), such as coconut, pili nut, and mahogany;

Tier 2: Intermediate height trees (5-15 m) such as moringa, fruit trees;

Tier 3: Lower trees and crops (ground level to 5m):bananas, rice, cocoa, tubers, maize, vegetables.

This system, sustainable by virtue of its nutritional, financial and ecological benefits, would be supported and promoted through methods employed successfully by ACDI/VOCA in Southeast Asia, South America and West Africa. These methods include participatory training and extension methods in the integration of a value chain approach, sustainable farming, sloping land agricultural technology, partnerships with private and public groups, and institutionalization of the activities, learning and support at local government levels.

The Green World Campaign is presently in dialogue to supply cocoa for co-branding of fair trade and organic chocolate consumer items.

PREPARATORY PHASE OF ACDI/VOCA-GREEN WORLD CAMPAIGN PROJECT

  • Identify and confirm beneficiaries and activities at the barangay level (smallest political unit)
  • Conduct community awareness events on CoCoPAL in target areas and begin farmer profiling process
  • Start the CoCoPAL project coordination committee functions, to address coordination and planning issues across areas and partners
  • Confirm and document PPs and their partner's inputs and contributions to CoCoPAL
  • Establish demonstration farms Note: We are now integrating organic cocoa production into our project plans with our partners, who are conscious of both the environmental importance and growing market opportunities.

Trees Species

The project will promote the planting of six major tree species, all of which have been carefully selected: cocoa, pili nut, moringa, mahogany, coconut, and coffee. This project intends to provide communities with the highest quality gerplasm (seeds, rootstock, scions for grafting) and to enable local government units and communities to produce and plant their own high quality seedlings. All seeds of the cocoa, coconut, coffee and pili nut trees are improved varieties approved by the National Seed Industry in the Philippines. The moringa and mahogany seeds will all be sourced from reputable local seed providers who carefully select the germplasm.

Cocoa is the cornerstone of the economic development activities for the region. The grafted, improved variety cocoa will begin fruiting in the third year of the project and reach full production by the fifth year; well-cared-for trees can produce for up to 60-80 years. Because of the lack of outside inputs and the fact that farmers are limited to using on-farm wastes as organic matter, there is an opportunity for organic certification. The Philippines currently has a 15,000 MT deficit of cocoa and will easily absorb new production. In fact, the project could surpass the domestic demand to help Asia address its regional deficit of 200,000 MT of cocoa.

Pili nut is indigenous to the Philippines and is a robust tall tree resistant to high winds. The Philippines is currently the world’s largest producer and marketer of commercial pili nut. The tree begins bearing fruit after five years. The fruit is always in tremendously high demand but the supply is limited. Many of the trees are male and do not fruit, so the project will promote improved grafted varieties, all of which are grafted females, inter planted with selected male trees, to maximize fruit production.

Moringa, Moringa oleifera, or malunggay, as it is known locally, is included in this project primarily for a food security and nutrition role. The nutritious leaves are popular among Filipinos and found in nearly every rural community, and the rapid growth rate will allow them to begin being harvested in the second year. The fast growth makes them a strong asset for reforestation efforts, and they can be used to help stabilize soils and decrease soil erosion.

Mahogany is a relatively fast growing hardwood which is a long-term investment in both the local ecosystem and the land. Mahogany demand remains high on the local, regional and global markets. The mahogany and pili nut trees are two hardwoods that will provide for significant carbon capture.

While the other trees will be planted throughout the project zone, coconut and arabica coffee will be substituted for each other depending on the topography. The improved variety coconut seedlings will be grown and distributed in lower elevations of less than 600 meters above sea level. They are disease resistant and offer increased nut production levels. Improved varieties of high-quality coffee seedlings will be planted in higher elevation zones where coconuts are less successful.