Most of our practices are based on common sense, keen observations and experiences gained throughout the years of our operations. In the farm, we have existing shade trees, like madre de kakaw and the big grasses served also as shade. Since our seedlings were being transported from another place we made sure that the seedlings recovered first, before they get re-planted. We even dug deeper and wider holes using our invented hole digger for planting the trees. Our approach to pest is more of an integrated pest management. Most of the time we use organic inputs, but as a balance, we also use chemical pesticides, herbicides, and weedicides, especially, at that time when the cacao seedlings were still growing. Through time we have learned the life cycle of insects. We also learned when and where to spray, and where these insects hide during day time. We had a very bad experience on grafted cacao trees. Of the 100 field grafted cacao seedlings, only one survived. So we stopped grafting and let the cacao seedlings grow naturally. Besides, the life span of un-grafted seedlings is longer than the grafted ones. We are also particular at record keeping. We have assigned one of our workers in monitoring and filling data of the farm journal we devised. It contains information as to their daily, weekly and monthly tasks. That way, we can keep track of their output and can also know the status of the cacao trees. At first, we even kept data of the weight of the harvested pods including its thickness; weight of beans, before and after mucilage is removed; the weight of beans before and after fermentation; and weight loss before and after drying the beans.
Dingayan Cacao Farm prides itself for the cleanest cacao beans in Lasam, Cagayan, Philippines.