Cacao is endemic in the locality of Maria Aurora. In the neighborhood of Brgy. Diaat alone, cacao trees are grown in backyards. I was even shown of one resilient and abundantly fruiting cacao that is precariously thriving on a rocky ground on one end of the bridge just on top of its abutment. The tree appears like dangling on a cliff above the rushing water. In other locations close by the river are some tall cacao trees that are intercropped with coconut and other trees. The trees are more than five years old and showing some of the common cacao diseases.
So what was the inspiration for setting up the farm? Below is a quote from Mr. Fabros:
When I went home in 2012, I saw many folks are jobless and just hanging around in our barangay (village). Also, I felt like that some of the amount we give as investment for the family business back home are going nowhere. Some of our properties remain idle so I started reading about High Value Crops and cacao got my attention. I did research on the internet and communicated with some cacao players. And was frustrated BIG TIME with government's lack of reply to my queries.
When I consulted a friend about cacao growing and believes in the profitability of the project, that's when Fabros Farm started. I have high hopes about this project. It is a very ambitious and daring and I credit my brothers effort. They are all absorbing the stress and pressure from me. I hope someday, it will not only my family that will benefit but the rest of the folks in our barangay. When the cacaos are fruiting and we have added income, it is my plan to do "contract growing, intercropped with coconut" with or without government assistance.
Fabros Farm's pioneering spirit and noble goal of providing livelihood to the people of their barangay is laudable. Despite the many challenges and their lack of experience, the family enterprise make up for it with their collective effort and enthusiasm to see to it that their venture succeed. With its humongous size Fabros Farm is not just a cacao farm but a cacao forest full of potentials.