In the Philippines, cashew is called kasoy or balubad in Tagalog or Balogo in Ilokano. It originated from north-eastern Brazil and was brought to the Philippines in the 17th Century. At present, cashew is cultivated in many tropical countries, the main producers are Brazil, India, Mozambique and Tanzania.

The cashew plant is an evergreen tree that grows up to 12 meters tall, with a dome-shaped crown or canopy bearing its foliage on the outside, where flowers and fruits are found.The growth of the taproot reaches a depth of 1.5-2 times the height of the plant during the first 4 months. Extensive lateral roots are formed later and reach far beyond the canopy spread of the tree during the first year of growth. In mature trees, the root volume is generally confined within the tree canopy. Very few laterals are formed beyond the 6 meter drip-line of the tree. The fruit has a kidney-shaped nut, about 3 cm x 1.2 cm attached to a much enlarged and swollen pedicel or receptacle forming the fruit-like cashew apple. The cashew apple is pear-shaped, 10-20 cm x 4-8 cm, shiny, red to yellow, soft, and juicy. The seed is kidney-shaped, with reddish-brown testa, two large white cotyledons, and a small embryo. The kernel remaining after the removal of the testa is the cashew nut of commerce.

Cashew can grow successfully in areas with a very distinct dry season or where the annual rainfall is as low as 50 cm. It can likewise grow well in areas with high levels of rainfall (as much as 350 cm annually) provided the soil is well-drained.
(Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014)


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Cultural Management

Seed System

1. Nursery Site

The nursery site should be well-drained and exposed to sunlight. It should have a good source of irrigation water for the maintenance of the plant materials. It should be protected against stray animals.

2. Nut Selection

Nuts for planting should be obtained from mother trees of known performance. They should be fully matured and of high density (heavy) grade to ensure good germination and vigorous seedlings. Seeds are water tested; those that sink are chosen since they have higher viability and germinate quickly.

3. Sowing the Seeds

Cashew seeds expire easily. Dry and newly collected seeds must be sown/propagated as soon as possible to prevent loss in viability. They are sown on individual polyethylene bags containing an equal mixture of fine sand and organic matter.

Seeds are sown 5-10 cm deep with stalk end facing upward in slanting position. This prevents the emerging cotyledons at the soil surface from being destroyed by rats, ants, snails, and birds.

4. Care of Seedlings

Seeds will germinate within 1 to 2 weeks after sowing. Excessive watering should be avoided. If seedlings are week and stunted, urea solution at the rate of 10 tbsp per gallon of water should be applied.

The seedlings must be properly taken care of until they are ready for field planting or for use in asexual propagation (grafting). Seedlings are ready for field planting when they have attained a height of 20-50 cm.

5. Propagation

Cashew can be propagated sexually or asexually. Asexual propagation can be done through airlayering, inarching, marcotting or grafting. Grafting is the best method for large-scale asexual propagation of cashew.

With cleft grafting, the seedlings are cut in traverse section (crosswise) and the remaining stem is cut longitudinally (lengthwise). The scion from a selected mother tree cut into the shape of a wedge is put between the two separated parts of the stem of the seedling, and the seedling and the scion are then wrapped with a plastic ribbon.

Up to 100% success has been obtained with 10-week old seedlings. In Palawan, plant propagators can get an average of 95% success in cleft grafting.

The use of young seedlings of about two months old result in more rapid takes, and the plants are ready to be planted at the age of 3 ½ months.

Sexual propagation is done by sowing the seeds directly on individual polyethylene bags. It should be done during the dry season so that the seedlings could be planted in the field at the start of the rainy season.

Land Preparation

For commercial purposes, the land should be thoroughly prepared. Plow the area 2-3 times followed by harrowing until the desired tilth of the soil is attained. It should be done before the start of the rainy season. For backyard or reforestation purposes, just underbrush the area and if possible collect all cut grasses, shrubs, and other rubbishes and burn them. The soil should be cultivated properly in order that the seeds may be sown with the required depth or that holes may be dug deep enough to bury the ball of seedlings. Rows of cashew trees should be properly laid out with the proper distancing by placing markers at the desired distance between hills in a row before digging the holes. 

Crop Establishment

1. Distance of planting

Distance of planting varies according to the purpose for which the trees are planted. For reforestation, 3m x 3m is recommended to encourage early shading and to aid in smothering weeds.
For commercial plantings in the Philippines use 6m x 6m which is too close compared to the practice in other countries.
Triangular planting was found to be most productive layout and should be tried. This method, however, is rather difficult for farmers to follow.
High density planting gives more kernel per hectare up to age 7 years. Low density planting gives less per hectare but more per tree.

  1. Triangular (12m x 12m x 12m) = 79 plants/ha
    An alternative and easier method is the quincunx arrangement and should also be tried.
  2. Quincunx (15m x 15m) = 76 plants/ha
  3. Square : The simplest recommended planting distances are 9m x 9m at the less fertile lower slopes and 10m x 10m at the more fertile lower slopes.

2. Lining, Stacking and Digging of Holes

Rows of cashew should be properly laid out by placing markers between rows and between hills in a row.

The holes should be dug a month before the planting of seedlings. The holes should have a dimension 20 cm x 20 cm.

3. Planting Time

In places with distinct dry and wet seasons, planting is best done at the start of the rainy season.

4. Planting

There are two methods of establishing cashew that may be employed. These are direct seeding and transplanting of seedlings or sexually propagated materials.

In direct seedlings, 2 to 3 seeds are planted 5-10 cm deep with the stalk end facing upward and in a slanting position. This prevents emerging cotyledons at the soil surface from the ravages of field rats, ants, snails and birds.
Seeds are planted 30 cm apart in a triangular position when 3 seeds are used. The seeds will germinate 1-2 weeks after sowing provided that the soil has sufficient moisture.
Thinning should be done leaving only the most vigorous plant to develop 1-2 months from germination. Thinning is preferably done during the start of the rainy season.

When transplanting seedlings or sexually propagated materials, remove carefully the polyethylene plastic before setting the seedlings in the holes.
Fill the holes with surface soil first and firm the soil at the base of the seedling carefully allowing the roots to remain in as natural as possible.

5. Weeding and Cultivation

The plants should be cultivated and free from weeds at a distance of 1 meter around the trunk. The orchard should be weeded as often as necessary. Cut grasses should be left in the area between the hills to dry and to used later for mulching. Mulching helps conserve moisture around the plant during the summer months, keep down the weeds and increase the amount of humus in the soil when decays.

6. Intercropping and Covercropping

A considerable part of the land is available for intercropping during the early years after the establishment of the cashew orchard.

To provide sufficient protection from the heavy growth of weeds and grass, the spaces between rows may be used for planting cash crops.
This would enable the grower to earn additional income.

Annual crops can be interplanted between rows of cashew provided they are not closer than 2 meter from the cashew tree.

When the growing of intercrops is no longer feasible, the field should be planted to leguminous covercrops. The planting of covercrops will prevent further soil erosion, conserve moisture, and add organic matter to the soil.

The area within 1 to 1 1/2 meters from the trunk should be kept free from weeds and covercrops should not be allowed to cling to the tree.

7. Pruning

Little pruning is practiced in cashew. However, it may be necessary to prune regularly to get the desirable shape of the tree and to facilitate cultural operations.

It is also necessary to remove the diseased and infected branches and unnecessary water sprouts.

8. Cut wounds should be properly treated with chemicals (coaltar) to facilitate healing and avoid infections.

Nutrient and Water Management

It is advisable to apply fertilizers especially when soil analysis dictates specific soil nutrient deficiencies.

The general recommendations are the following:

1. Seedlings - At planting time apply complete fertilizer (14-14-14) before the seedlings are set in the holes at the rate of 200-300 gm/plant.
2. Young Trees - Apply complete fertilizer at the rate of 300-500 gm/tree plus Urea (45-0-0) at the rate of 200-300 gm/tree.
3. Bearing Trees - Apply complete fertilizer (14-14-14) at the rate of 1.5 to 3.0 kg/tree.

Recommended rate of fertilizer application is applied two times a year. One half of the total requirement per tree should be applied at the start of the rainy season and the remaining half should be applied toward the end of the rainy season.

On established trees, fertilizer should be dug with a depth of 1-10 cm. The fertilizer is then distributed equally. Cover the holes/canal properly with soil to prevent the fertilizer from evaporating or from being washed out by heavy rains.

Water Management
Irrigation is needed during the first dry season. Unlike in the subsequent years, when the root system has already been established and have reached the layer with sufficient moisture. For better yield, it is advisable to irrigate the field regularly especially during summer.

Pest and Disease Management


1. Twig Borer (Niphonoclea albata N. /. capito NP.)

This insect pest are common during the dry season. The adult beetle girdles the small branches causing them to dry up or break and drop to the ground. Its creamish larvae bore into the pith of the branches. As they feed, they move downward until they pupate. All affected twigs and small branches may eventually die.

Control Measure: Remove or collect all affected twig as well as dried twigs on the ground. Dispose them properly by burning before applying chemical sprays. In using spray chemicals, mix 3-5 tbsp of Malathion, Carbaryl and/or Methyl Parathion per 5 gallons of water. Repeat application at 7-10 days interval when necessary.

2. Mealybugs (Gray Mealybugs - F. vigata) and Thrips (Red-banded thrips - Selen othrips rubrocintus Glard)

These pests sucks the sap of young leaves and shoots. When severe infestation occurs, the tree is weakened and the leaves and fruit may fall prematurely.

Control Measures: Spray trees with any insecticide commonly available at manufacturer's recommended dosage when there are signs of early infestation.

3. Leaf Miner (Acrocercops syngramma M.)

Young plants in the nursery and in the orchard are more affected by these pests. Caterpillars of this silvery gray moth mine through the tender leaves, thus, severely damaging them.

Control Measures: Spray 0.05% Phosphamidon at manufacturer's recommended dosage as soon as infestation is detected on new leaves.

4. Tea Mosquito (Helopeltis Antonil S.)

A reddish-brown mirid bug which normally appears at the time of emergence of new growth and panicles. Nymphs and adults suck the sap from tender nuts.

Control Measures: Spray Malathion, Phosphamidon and/or Endosulfan at emergence of new growth and inflourescence. A third spray may be done at the time of fruit setting to reduce immature fruit drops.

5. Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle (Cryzaephillus surinamensis L.)

This pest is known to attack the nuts during storage.

Control Measures: Nuts should be thoroughly dried and placed in air tight containers. Surface treatment is recommended. For finished products, fumigation is recommended.

6. Slug Caterpillar (Lamantridae spp.)

The caterpillar feeds on the leaves causing semi-defoliation.

7. Termite

Termites attack the roots and the trunk of cashew trees. They burrow on the bark of roots and branches especially of old trees. They build their soil mounds or nest on dead parts of the tree.

Control Measures: Soil mounds must be destroyed to locate the queen termite. The queen should be killed either mechanically or by spraying with 2% Chlordane. Chlordane should not be applied on living parts of the tree because of its long residual effect. Cistin powder could be applied to any part of the tree infested with termites at the rate recommended by the manufacturer.


1. Dieback or Pink Disease

This disease is caused by fungus Corticium salmonicolor B. that usually occurs during the rainy season. Affected shoots initially show white patches on the bark; a film of silky thread or mycelium develops. Later, the fungus develops a pinkish growth which are the spores that make the bark split and peel off. Affected shoots start drying up from the tip.

Control Measures: All possible sources of innoculum should be removed. Affected shoots are pruned and burned. Cut surfaces must be protected by applying Bordeaux moisture paste. The tree should also be sprayed with fungicide at manufacturer's recommended dosage.

2. Anthracnose

This disease is cause by fungus Collectorichum gloeospoides that usually infect tender leaves, shoots, inflourescences, young fruits (apples) and young nuts. This disease is most prevalent when there is excessive rainfall coinciding with the appearance of new growth and flowering. Infected parts in its early stage show shiny, watersoaked lesions which later turn reddish-brown. At the lesion site, resinous exudation can be seen. As the disease progresses, the lesions enlarge in size, all affected tender leaves wrinkle, and the young apples and nuts become shrivelled. Inflorescences become black.

Control Measures: Remove all infected parts (source of innoculum) before spraying the tree with fungicide at manufacturer's recommended dosage of application.

3. Damping-off

This disease is caused by fungus Fusarium. This disease normally occurs in the nursery and effects cashew seedlings especially when the soil medium gets too wet.

Control Measures: Seeds for planting should be treated with Arasan 75 at the rate of ¼ tsp per ganta of seeds before sowing. Soil media for potting should be treated with soil fumingants.


In the Philippines, cashew trees flower from November to March, while the harvest season is from February to May and may extend up to early June. The quality of nuts and yield is dependent on weather conditions during the fruiting stage. If it rains during the reproductive phase, poor quality nuts are produced. Fruits are usually harvested manually, although a number of farmers wait for the fruits to drop as the main concern of farmers is the nut. Nuts are picked from the ground, separated from the cashew apple, cleaned and dried.

In places where cashew apples are processed into juice, wine and other delicacies, fruits are harvested using a pole with a wire hook attached to its end. The pole is provided with a shallow net or cloth bag to catch the detached fruits.

Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014




Cassava is locally known as Balingoy or kamoteng kahoy. In other countries it is known as yucca, manioc, and tapioca. It is a perennial shrub which sometimes reaches the size of a small tree. Its stems vary in color from pale to dirty-white to brown marked by numerous nodes formed by scars left by fallen leaves. Pale to dark-green leaves are fan-shape with 5 to 9 lobes.
Considered a vegetable and staple food specially during lean months and typhoon months. Cassava and sweet potato are the rootcrops commonly grown in Bicol. These commodities have special agronomic characteristics and performance that its potential cannot be undermined.Cassava is a perennial plant that thrives well even in poor soils.

Cassava can be processed into starch, noodles, seasoning and sweets. It is also used as a substitute in the processing of animal food. It can also be made into pellets, chips and pearl. The chips can be used for alcohol production. Cassava is now used to produce biodegradable plastics and some medical, horticultural and sporting good products.
(Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014)

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Cultural Management


Land Preparation

In general, one plowing and harrowing is adequate for areas just previously planted or regularly planted every year. For newly opened or fallowed areas, two to three plowings and harrowing may be necessary depending on soil tilth and weed incidence. In areas prone to water logging like in clayey soils, ridges or mounds should be constructed to prevent rotting of cuttings and storage roots.
Depth of plowing from 10 to 20 cm does not seem to affect yield in lighter soils. However, for heavier soils, plowing depth may affect root yield and deeper plowing most probably favor root production.

Crop Establishment

To insure good yields, only cuttings that are free from insect pests and diseases, mature, fresh and selected from vigorously growing plants should be used.
The length of the cutting varies from 20 to 30 cm depending on node number. There should be at least five nodes per cutting to have a better chance of sprouting and survival.

Cuttings should be taken from at least 6-month old plants. The best part of the stem to use is the middle part, the terminal part being too young (dries easily) and the basal part too old (lignified with little food reserve). When the age of the plant is uncertain, the size of the pith (central soft portion) may be used as a guide to maturity. The pith's diameter should be 50% or less than the total diameter.

Stems that are too thin should not be planted. As a guide, the thickness of the stems should not be less half the regular size of the variety. When the stems are thin, not because of poor growing conditions but due to cultural practices like density planting, the thin stems might be planted without affecting field performance.

Stems should be properly stored to maintain their viability and yielding ability. The stems to be stored should be mature, free from insects and diseases and at least 1 meter long. The stems are bundled, positioned vertically (buds facing up) in a well-ventilated area and protected from direct sunlight by covering them with protective materials like coconut fronds.

When using stored stems, only those with enough moisture should be planted. A stem has sufficient moisture if upon cutting, the white latex or sap appears within three seconds. The germinated and rooted parts should be discarded.

If water is available, cassava can be planted anytime. In the presence of a dry period lasting for several months, it is best to plant at the onset of the rainy season.

Plant horizontally in the furrow when rainfall is uncertain and vertically on the ridge when there is plenty of rain and water logging is a potential problem. Slant or diagonal planting is done when the conditions are neither too dry nor too wet.

There are other things to consider in deciding the position of planting to adopt. In vertical planting, the buds grow earlier giving a headstart over the weeds but harvesting is more difficult and planting takes more time since one has to be careful not to plant the cuttings in an inverted position. Cassavas planted vertically are also more resistant to lodging. On the other hand, those planted horizontally or diagonally are easier to harvest but lodge easily. Planting depth is shallower (5-8 cm) for horizontal planting and deeper for vertical or diagonal planting (10-15 cm). For dry and sandy soils, planting is deeper and for moist and heavier soils, planting is shallower.

Plant only one cutting per hill. When the soil is not fertile and the variety is not branchy, plant about 20,000 cuttings/ha (1 m x 0.5 m spacing). In fertile soil and with vigorously branching varieties, plant about 10,000 cuttings/ha (1.0 m x 1.0 m spacing).

Replant missing hills only if they exceed 30% of the total population and not later than two weeks after planting using longer cuttings when planting vertically.

Water Management

Although cassava is a drought-tolerant crop, yield is also reduced with limited rainfall. Under Philippine conditions, it is not economical to irrigate cassava because of its low economic value. The best way to evade moisture stress is to plant at the onset of the rainy season.

Weed Control and Cultivation

Control the weeds during the first two months after planting. This can be done by hand weeding in combination with off-barring and hilling-up. Cultivation, which loosens the soil aside from controlling the weeds, is beneficial to the expanding storage roots. Cultivation should not be done beyond two months after planting to prevent damage to the developing storage roots unless the canopy is still limited due to the poor growing conditions. To save on hand weeding, cassava can be planted in straight rows in two directions so that cultivation can be made perpendicularly.

Other methods of controlling weeds in plantations are: high population density planting, inter-cropping with short maturing crops like legumes and using herbicides and mechanical cultivators.

Pests Management

Spider Mites

Two species of spider mites of the genus Tetranychus are serious pests especially during the dry season. They suck the plant sap from the under-surface of the leaves causing the leaves to turn yellow then brown before falling off. The damage symptoms appear first among the lower leaves. Recommended control measures are stripping and burning of affected leaves, use of clean cuttings and resistant varieties and planting at the onset of the rainy season. There are a number of available acaricides but these chemicals are expensive and not recommended for practical use.

Scale Insects

The scale insects (Saisettia spp.) are another group, which are becoming serious especially under continuous cultivation. They suck the sap from the stems that make them unfit for planting. The use of resistant varieties and clean planting materials are recommended control measures.

Cassava Bacterial Blight

Among the cassava diseases, the cassava bacterial blight (CBB) is the most serious and destructive especially during the rainy season. Symptoms of the disease are angular leaf spotting and blight, wilting, die-back, gum exudation and stem and root vascular necrosis. The use of resistant varieties coupled with cultural practices like wider spacing, elimination of infected plants and the use of bacteria-free planting materials are the most promising control measures.

Brown Leaf Spot

The brown leaf spot is the most common disease infecting cassava but the yield loss is not so serious as that resulting from CBB. The disease occurs throughout the year but is most prevalent during the wet season. Spots are present on both leaf surfaces. The spots appear more or less circular starting from faded green to brown with darker borders. Eventually, the lesions turn somewhat irregular to angular due to the limitation by the leaf margins and the veins. In the advanced stage, infected leaves turn brownish and drop prematurely. The disease is usually not controlled in commercial planting.

Harvest Management

The right time to harvest depends on the variety. Some varieties can be harvested optimally from about 10 months for the early maturing to 18 months after planting for the late maturing. However, the eating quality of the roots also affects the decision when to harvest for the fresh market. To determine the best time to harvest, pull out a few (about 10 samples plants) randomly every 10 days starting 9 months after planting to evaluate the eating quality. If there is no further increase in yield and the eating quality is all right, the crop may be harvested.

For the fresh market, only the needed quantity should be harvested at any one time since the roots deteriorate very fast within 2-3 days after harvesting. In this case, staggered harvesting starting from one end of the field to the other end should be practiced so that the harvested area can be immediately used for other crops if desired.

To harvest, cut the tops leaving the stump, about 30 cm. for grasping when uprooting the plant. If the soil is hard, mechanical harvesting aids that grasp the stem as it is raised make harvesting operations easy.
If cassava is to be processed into chips for animal feed or for flour production, harvesting has to be done during the dry season since artificial drying is expensive and uneconomical.

Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014

Cattle Raising



Cattle fattening has gained prominence as an important business project of the livestock industry in the Philippines. It gives the farmer year-round work and provides him with extra income. He can make use of cheap, plentiful farm by-products such as corn stovers, rice straw, copra meal, rice bran and sugarcane tops, which ordinarily go to waste. Most importantly, it helps meet the urgent demand for high-protein foods in the Filipino diet.

Backyard cattle fattening or on a large scale can be profitably undertaken. It consists of buying healthy stock, feeding and fattening them for 120 to 180 days, and selling them at anytime of the year. Minimum space for housing is required: 1.5 to 2 sq. meters per head for a sheltered feeding area, and 5 meters per head for a fenced loafing area.
(Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014)


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Cultural Management

Types of Cattle-Raising

1. Cow-calf Operation

In a cow-calf operation, cows and bulls are raised to produce calves which are raised until they are weaned from their dams at seven (7) to eight (8) months of age. After weaning, they can be sold immediately, or raised for a few more months for use as replacement stocks or sold for fattening.

The cow-calf operation is considered most challenging because the breeder needs to be familiar with the reproductive cycle, management practices involved in the production and maintenance of cows, bulls and calves as well as breeding and feeding systems. A good animal health program should also be observed to minimize mortality and ensure the productivity of the animals.

2. Breeder Farm Operation

In a breeder farm operation, the main interest of the raisers is to produce animals for breeding purposes. There is a set of selection criteria for calves and they are raised until they are ready for breeding.

Since the main output of a breeder farm is quality breeding animals, a large herd is necessary for the selection of the replacement stocks. Purebred animals are usually utilized in this type of operation. The breeder farm can be maintained in the ranch, in complete confinement, or integrated with plantation and forest trees. The farm requires a number of animal stock, a big space and a big capital.

3. Growing-Fattening Operation

This is the most popular type of cattle raising in the Philippines. It requires simple facilities and level of management. The lifespan of operation is shorter and the return of investment is relatively higher.
Growing cattle can be raised through grazing or cut-and-carry feeding. Thus, it needs little capital so it can be managed by smallhold cattle raisers.
On the other hand, the fattening or finishing stage is usually done intensively or in confinement. The animals are kept within an area so that the feeds given to them are utilized to develop their tissues.


Improved breeds and crossbreds gain weight faster than native animals. Tropical breeds are more adaptable to local climatic and feed conditions than temperate breeds. Some of the recommended tropical breeds are:

1. Brahman
    Color is gray, some are reddish. This breed is resistant to diseases and can withstand heat better.

2. Ongle or Nellore
    Color is white. The bulls may have dark gray head, neck and hump. Knees may be black.

3. Indu-Brazil
     Colors vary from light to silver gray and brownish dark gray to red.

4. Batangas Cattle
    This is not really distinct breed of cattle in the Philippines. Cattle fattened in Batangas comes from Mindoro, Masbate and other provinces. The term Batangas beef has become popular because of the good quality cattle produced by the "supak" method of Batangas.

Management Practices

Management of Calves

Calves should suckle colostrum milk from their mother within three (3) hours after calving. A calf that has not suckled five (5) to six (6) hours after calving should be led to his mother's udder.
During bad weathers, weak calves should be taken to the barn with the mother. However, orphaned calves may be raised to cow's milk or milk replacers. Calves should be given concentrates at an early age for faster growth.

Management of Growers

Growers are weaned yearlings which are not to be fattened immediately. They are handled in such a way that maximum growth is achieved at the lowest possible cost. The growing period starts from weaning to fattening or replacement stage. Growers are usually maintained in the pasture with very little attention; they are given salt and mineral supplements. If raised in confinement, concentrates should be given in addition to grass or roughage.

Management of Fatteners

Fatteners require a shorter period to reach slaughter weight. They are generally bigger, mature, or nearing maturity. However, one and a half to two-year old animals weighing 200 to 300 kg are preferred. They may be fattened either in feedlot, on pasture, or in both areas.

Cattle Housing

Proper housing is important in successful cattle fattening operation. Adequately protect animals against the adverse effects of weather when they are raised in relatively small areas. Animals in backyard cattle farms are usually tethered along roadsides and in backyards during the day and confined in a shed or corral at night. The permanent type of housing consisting of GI roofing, timber frames, concrete floor, feed trough and water troughs are used in most farms. The shelter is open-sided and is located near the farmer's house or under the shade trees. Building height ranges from 1.79 to 1.9 meters while the width varies from 2.1 to 2.7 meters. Each animal can be allocated with 1.5 to 4.5 sq. meters.
A fenced loafing area beside the goat house must be provided (100 to 150 sqm/250 head), complete with feeding racks and water troughs to allow animals to loaf freely. Flooring of the area must be cemented to facilitate drying. Cogon and nipa as roof materials are preferred in hot and humid areas.
Ventilation is of outmost importance. Majority of pneumonia cases can be traced to excessively warm and humid interior and sudden changes in temperature. Allow a 0.5 to 1 feet clearance between floor to wall and wall to beam to create an adequate circulation and to lower draft. It is desirable to maintain an interior temperature of 28 to 30°C. It has been established that above 30°C ruminants are inhibited from eating.
Lighting may also be provided in the barns during the night. Goats consume up to 30% of the day's intake during the night when light is provided.
Other Options:

1. Housing System for Cow-calf Operation

Cow-calf operation in smallhold farms is usually done using simple methods and facilities. The animals are usually tethered during the day and kept inside the shed during the night. The shed is built from native materials like wood and bamboo frames and enclosures; nipa and cogon for roofings. Feeding and watering troughs can also be made out of locally available materials such as used tires, used and halved drums. The shed is usually built near the house of the farmer.

2. Housing System for Fattening Operation

In this type of operation, the animals are raised in individual stalls with a space about 1.5 m x 4 m/head. Each stall can accommodate one animal during the entire fattening period. The shed is built three (3) meters high to allow good ventilation. Bamboo, lumber, or ipil-ipil poles can be used for frames; nipa or cogon for roofing materials although galvanized iron roofing may be used for durability. Concrete and sand should be used as flooring to prevent mud from accumulating. This will facilitate cleaning.

Selecting Cows and Heifers for Breeding

1. Milking Ability and Feminity

A cow should have a mild maternal face with bright and alert eyes, good disposition, and quiet temperament. Its udder is of good size and shape, soft, flexible and spongy to touch. This characteristic is expected to secrete more milk unlike an udder that is fleshlike and hard.

2. Age

In general, beef cows remain productive for 13 years if they start calving at three years of age. They are most productive from four to eight years of age.

3. Breeding Ability and Ancestry

Cows that calve regularly are desirable. Calves from cows that do not take on flesh readily do not give much profit. In buying heifers for foundation stock, select those which belong to families which have regularly produced outstanding calves.

4. Types and Conformation

An ideal cow has a rectangular frame. Should be of medium width between the thurls and pins to have necessary frame on which to hang profitable beef. The rump must be long and smooth.

Selecting a Bull

1. Physical Appearance

A fairly good middle or barrel indicates a well-developed digestive system and healthy vital organs such as the heart, liver and lungs. Likewise, a full heart girth, broad muzzle, large nostrils, muscular cheeks and jaw, well-rounded thighs and a full loin, make up a good constitution. A bull with these qualities is desirable.
The legs of a bull should be strong enough to carry its own weight and to carry him around to look for cows that are in heat and to search for food when necessary. Successful mating of cows is ensured when a bull has strong legs.

2. Sex Character

Well-developed sex organs are characterized by fully descended testicles, deep wide chest, and broad head. These qualities indicate virility and good reproduction.

Selecting Cattle for Fattening

1. Age

Young animals have striking advantages over older cattle. They need less feed for every unit gain in weight because they can masticate and ruminate thoroughly and can consume more feed in proportion to their body weight. Their increase in weight is due partly to the growth of muscles and vital organs. In older cattle the increase is largely due to fat deposits.

On the other hand, older animals as feeder stock also have advantages. Generally, a two-year old steer will require a shorter feeding period than a calf or a yearling because the latter grows while it fattens.

Calves are choosy when given coarse and stemmy roughage, while two-year old steers utilize large quantities of roughage to produce fat primarily because they have a better capacity to digest. In most cases, they readily relish the feeds ordinarily rejected by the calves.

2. Disposition

An active yet mild, quiet, and easily-handled steer usually grows fast and fattens easily. Restless, nervous and erratic cattle waste too much energy when they panic even at the slightest provocation.

3. Constitution and Vigor

These are determined by the size and quality of the vital organs. A large feeding capacity, strong appetite, a large heart girth, well-sprung ribs and a wide, deep and full chest show good constitution and vigor.

4. Sex

In general, more steers than heifers are available for fattening because some heifers must be retained as herd replacements.
If fed for the same period of time, steers gain about 10% faster than heifers and require 10 to 15% less feeds with equal weight gain. On the other hand, young bulls have 20% greater gain in live weight and require 22% less feed to produce a leaner carcass which is nearly of the same quality as that of steers.

5. Health Considerations

A healthy animal is active, has a soft and smooth hair coat, bright eyes and moist muzzle. Special attention should be given to unsoundness and defects in conformation when selecting feeders. Animals that are blind, lame or with crooked legs, rough skin, and evidence of ectoparasite should be avoided.


Does reach puberty from 4 to 18 months. Best breeding age will be 10 to 12 months, depending on desired weight. Limit yearling buck services to 25 doe services/year. Older bucks can cover up to 75/year. Buck to doe ratio is 1:25.
Reproductive Characteristics of Goats:









Signs of Heat or Estrus:

  • Mucus discharge from the vulva, causing matting of tail hair.
  • Uneasiness, constant urination, lack of appetite and bleating.
  • Seeks out or stays near the buck and lets herself be mounted.

When breeding, always introduce the doe to the buck, not to the doe herd particularly when bucks have not been used for a long time. It will be dangerous to mix the buck with an herd of pregnant does for they will breed indiscriminately. Two or four breedings during the heat period will suffice.
It is highly impractical if not economical to raise pure breed goats, unless the main purpose is to sell breeders. The preferred method will be to upgrade local native or grade does with pure bucks. Crossbreeds usually perform better than pure ones under local conditions. Infusion of two or more bloodlines into the native doe will elicit a better product due to hybrid vigor. Three-way crosses between the native, any of three Occidental breeds and the Nubian has produced a greatly superior animal than any of the three under our conditions.
Higher milk production should be the main consideration for it will not only mean bigger kid but also more milk for human consumption. A maximum infusion of 75% foreign bloodline must be observed to retain the natural resistance of the native. Never practice inbreeding unless fully knowledgeable in breeding techniques. On the other hand, intensive culling especially in milking herds, will largely be beneficial.

Dystocia is very common in crossing natives with large pure breeds due to the invariably large size of the unborn kids. Crossbreed birthweights of up to four (4) kilos for multiple births and up to six (6) kilos for single births have been observed while native birthweights reach only 2 to 4 kilos for multiple and single births, respectively. Thus, in crossbreeding, large native does with a minimum weight of 25 kilos or more and those that have given birth at least once, should be used. Providing human assistance during birth will also be of help in saving kids, but this should be done only when necessary.

Anestrus or failure to come in heat, is a common problem most particularly with high-producing does. Vitamin, mineral and other nutrient deficiencies, infections of the genital tract and hormone deficiencies are some of the various and implants and pregnant mare serum (PMS have been used with varying rates of success.

Routine administration of oxytocin right after kidding and before weaning (5 days) aids in faster expulsion of the placenta, uterine fluids and in the rapid regression of the uterus. Routine Vitamin A, D and E injections to breeding herds also contribute to reproductive well being.

Fifty percent of breeding problems can be traced to the buck used. Routine check up of the bucks' health condition, especially of the genito-urinary tract, should be done. Preputial scraping, blood tests and sperm motility tests are some very useful procedures to follow in successful buck management. Always consult a trained veterinarian to do these tests.

Procedures in Artificial Insemination

1. Keep the semen warm for it is extremely temperature sensitive and will be irrevocably damaged if improperly handled. Never allow the temperature of semen thawed in 95°F water to drop below 80°F. If at all possible, perform your insemination in a heated environment. Thoroughly pre-warm the inseminating gun before inserting the straw. If no heated facility is available, use a heating pad or hot water bottle to keep the semen and related equipment at the proper temperature before use.

2. Inseminate at the proper time, as most successful inseminators agree that conception rates are generally highest when breeding during the later third of standing heat. In our experience, breeding a doe approximately 6 – 10 hours before she goes out of standing heat has yielded the best results. During the main part of the breeding season and with most does, this means breeding approximately 24-30 hours after the onset of estrus.

3. Always deposit semen deep intracervically by measuring the depth of penetration of the breeding gun. After passing through several cervical rings, place a clean breeding sheath in the speculum alongside the gun with its tip against the back wall of the does' vagina. Compare the difference between the length of the two breeding sheaths. Ideal depth of penetration is approximately 1 ½ inches.

4. Use only one straw per breeding as research in goat production indicates that sperm cells introduced into the does' reproductive tract tend to form "colonies" in the mucous present in the folds of the cervix. After undergoing a short maturation process, they migrate in fairly constant number from the cervix into the uterus and ultimately on to the oviduct, where union of the egg actually occurs. Quantities of viable sperm cells sufficient for adequate fertilization should remain in the reproductive tract for up to 18 hours after the first insemination.
The use of a second straw of semen later in heat can cause a disruption in the orderly migration of mature sperm cells from the colonies already established in the cervix and actually reduces the chance of conception.

5. Avoid attempting to AI does who remain in standing heat longer than 48 hours for reasons not fully understood, does exhibiting extremely lengthy standing estrus generally fail to conceive when artificially inseminated. Abnormally long heats are more common early in the breeding season, and occur more frequently in some areas than others. Fortunately in most cases the condition is transitory and most does begin to exhibit more normal estrus behavior as the breeding season progresses.

6. Use of hormones to synchronize does, though successful and useful, may result in lowered conception rates. Many breeders have reported disappointing AI conception rates after having used hormones to induce estrus in goats. If it is necessary to synchronize a group of does in this way, wait until the first natural heat after the drug induced estrus before artificially inseminating. Be aware that the use of prostaglandins may cause erratic estrus behavior in some animals, which can persist for several months.

7. Deposit semen very slowly because rapid expulsion of semen from the breeding gun can damage sperm cells and cause irritation of the does' reproductive tract. Count to fifteen very slowly while depressing the plunger on the breeding gun.

8. Don't haul a doe in heat to have her bred via AI. If you do not have your own equipment or storage tank and must transport your does to have them bred, plan to board them several days before they are due to come into heat. It is probably preferable if you cannot breed your own does yourself to have an AI technician come to your farm to perform the insemination. You can do your own inseminating even if you do not own your own tank. Small quantities of semen can be transported and stored for a half day or longer in a stainless steel thermos bottle. Make sure that you do not screw the lid onto the thermos as possible rupture can occur as a result of nitrogen gas pressure.

9. For best conception rates, inseminate only does with regularly occurring heats and no history of breeding or kidding problems. Does that are difficult to settle by natural service are not good AI candidates. Proper nutritional management also pays a big role in reproductive efficiency. Does that are overly fat or thin are less than ideal prospects for AI breeding. Virgin does should present no problem so long as they weigh at least 75 lbs.

10. Don't attempt to AI a doe on her first heat cycle of the season – the first heat cycle of the year is often infertile and is frequently followed by a second heat 5 to 8 days later. Conception rates will usually be higher if you wait until the second or later heats to do your breeding. Likewise, conception rates may drop off if you attempt AI towards the very end of the normal breeding season.

11. Watch your does carefully 17 to 22 days after breeding them by AI for some reason that some does who conceive by AI experience a false heat three weeks later. Although they may exhibit otherwise typical estrus behavior, such does will seldom allow a buck to mount them. If in doubt, submit a milk or blood sample to a testing laboratory for a progesterone assay.

12. Keep detailed records of your AI breeding. Note such factors as color and consistency of cervical mucous, depth and relative difficulty or cervical penetration, length of standing heat both before and after inseminating, weather conditions, time required to complete the insemination, and other pertinent information. These records will often be of great help in explaining why some does settle and others did not.

13. Know your does. Chart the heat cycles of each of your animals on a calendar. Observe them at least three times daily during the breeding seasons for signs of estrus behavior. Note the number of hours that each does remains in standing heat, and the relative intensity of estrus activities such as flagging, fighting and mounting other does.

14. Observe proper sanitary procedures. Specula should be thoroughly washed and sanitized between use. Scrub the doe's external genitalia with soap and water and dry completely before inserting the speculum. Do not use iodine-based products, as iodine is spermicidal. Take care not to touch the part of the speculum or breeding sheath which is inserted in the doe's vagina.

15. Attend an AI school. Attendance at an AI school taught by a competent and knowledgeable instructor can increase your chances of success with AI. As with any other acquired skill, hands-on experience is the best way to develop the confidence and correct techniques necessary to use AI effectively.

16. Do your homework. Artificial insemination is only a tool, albeit a powerful one. To be really successful with AI, you have to do more than just put kids on the ground. Only through intelligent selection of sires compatible with the objectives of a carefully thought out breeding program can AI benefit you, the breeder, or the meat and dairy goat industry.

Feeding Management Practices

1. Feed animals daily with concentrate one to two kilograms per day during fattening period. Give roughage daily at 3% of body weight if given air dry or 14% if given fresh.
2. Give clean water without limit or ad libitum. Provide ordinary table salt about 30-50 grams per head per day.
3. Give the animals fresh, palatable feed and clean water at all times. Reduction of feed intake by 5 percent will reduce weight gain by 10 percent. Do not overstock feeds in the feedbunk since the bottom portion will develop heat and make the feed stale.
4. Mix feed properly. Have at least 15-20 percent roughage in feed to prevent bloat and other digestive disorders.
5. During rainy days, cattle will eat more during the daytime. During summer, they will eat more at night and during the cooler hours. Provide enough feeds during these periods.
6. Digestion will be more efficient if roughage is eaten separately from concentrates. Roughage consumption tends to stimulate saliva secretion up to as much as 80-120 liters per day.
7. Providing 12-14 inches of bunk space per head will allow cattle to eat slowly.
8. Schedule manure removal. If allowed to remain with the animals, deep, wet manure will reduce both feed intake and weight gain.

Diseases and Care Practices

1. Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

Enterovirus of major strains –A, O & C
Transmission: Direct contact with sick animals excreting the virus. Indirect transmission by ingestion of contaminated feeds. Contact with infected products and animal excretion by inhalation

High fever, Depression, Appearance of vesicles and blisters with fluid on tongue, gums, udders and interdigital spaces

Flowing saliva:
Animal refuses to eat, Becomes lame and refuses to stand

Regular FMD vaccination every 6 months in areas where the disease is common

2. Hemorrhagic Septicemia

Common bacterial disease characterized by hemorrhage (escape of blood from the blood vessels) and septicemia (a condition manifested by the generalized presence of pathogenic bacteria and the associated poisons in the blood). The disease is rapid in onset and runs a relatively short course.

Direct contact with infected animals, Ingestion of contaminated feedstuffs by aerosol

Sudden increase in body temperature (41-42°C), Profuse salivation, Severe depression,Development of hot, painful swelling on the throat, dewlap, Difficulty in breathing, and Development of signs of pulmonary alimentary involvement in the later stages.

Isolate and quarantine infected premises, Promptly dispose of carcasses of dead animals by burning or burying in soil, Segregate sick animals and treat them with antibiotics, Vaccinate apparently healthy and unexposed animals, Sterilize and disinfect used instruments and equipment.

3. Anthrax

Anthrax is a peracute disease characterized by septicemia and sudden death with the exudation of tarry blood from the natural body openings. It is a disease virtually of all warm-blooded animals, including man.

Direct Contact (spread form one animal to another, wherein the bacili are excreted in the urine, feces, saliva and from the natural body openings contaminating the area), Ingestion, Indirect transmission through airborne via respiratory tract (inhalation) or vector borne through stable files and mosquitoes

Caused by large, gram-positive, aerobic spore-forming rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracic. In cultures, forms long chains which, unstained, appear as solid filaments because the square ends of the individual cells fit very closely together. Under low magnification, the margin of the colonies which lie in parallel formation look like locks of hair. It is for this reason that they are sometimes described as "Medusa head" colonies.

Peracute form (1-2 hours), Sudden death, Unclotted blood comes out from the natural openings, Acute form (24-48 hours), Depression, Fever, Difficulty in breathing, Loss of appetite, Swelling in hind quarters, Hemorrhage in many parts of the body, Death, Diarrhea stained with unclotted blood coming from the natural body openings, Chronic form (48 hours or more), Swelling (ventral muscle, throax, shoulder), Edema

Prevention/ Control:
Control by immunization, Proper disposal of dead animal by burning or deep burial. Quicktime should be used to cover the body before covering with soil. The depth should be 2 meters. Decontamination of all contaminated pens, feeding materials, beddings, etc. Avoid contact with infected animals and contaminated animal by-products, Reduce movement of animals, Quarantine infected areas, Practice environmental and personal hygiene, Control insects and flies, Notify the proper authority in case of outbreak

Technology Option : UREA – MOLASSES Mineral Block

UMMB or Urea-Molasses Mineral Block is a food supplement for cows, carabaos, sheep and goats. This is a block containing a mixture of urea, molasses or honey, cement, rice bran, vitamin and mineral such as di-calcium phosphate and salt.

Feeding UMMB is considered as one of the most important way to lessen the loss of essential and substantial food for animals especially in the warm months of the year. UMMB gives energy or heat, minerals and protein needed by animals to increase milk production.

UMMB is rich in:

    1. Mineral – contains elements such as calcium, phosphorous, iodine, zinc, copper and other minerals that are not naturally found in grass. These minerals are important for growth, reproduction and milk production.
    2. Protein – UMMB gives up to 50% protein needed by animals for growth. The mineral content of UMMB also helps in increasing milk production.
    3. Energy – UMMB gives 45% energy needed by animals to increase production of meat and milk.

Steps in making UMMB:

  1. Prepare and weigh ingredients according to proper proportions:
  2. Prepare the mixing pot. Use a cook ware with a wide mouth like a vat. Old tires can be used a support to the vat.
  3. Pour honey into the vat. Slowly add urea while slowly stirring the mixture. Make sure there are no lumps of urea in the mixture.
  4. Add di-calcium phosphate and salt, stirring should be continuous.
  5. Add cement and continue stirring.
  6. Rice bran should be added last. In this case, its better to use hand in mixing or a cement mixer to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  7. Pour the mixture into molds to form the blocks. Each bloke may weigh 1 to 5 kilos each.
  8. Wrap each block with plastic and arrange in a box. Wait for 1 to 2 weeks before feeding the block to the animals.

Method of Feeding:

UMMB is fed through "licking" of the animals. Feeding is not difficult since UMMB tastes good to the animals. Place and leave the UMMB in the animal feeder until animals get their daily nutrition needs.

Some Warning when Feeding UMMB:

      1. Prevent the block from getting wet thereby feeding the animals in excess.
      2. Don't give UMMB to animals that are not more than six months and to those animals that are in their last trimester of pregnancy
      3. Don't give UMMB when animals are hungry or when the waterer is empty.
      4. Call a veterinary when symptoms of poisoning are evident like salivating, difficulty in breathing, and bloating.

Other Characteristics of UMMB:

    1. Helps in increasing appetite
    2. Increases the ability to dissolve grass fibers and other feed eaten by the animals.
    3. Maintains the energy and health of animals.

Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014

Breeding Farms


Office: 198 M. Paterno St., San Juan, Metro Manila
Farm: Patiis Road, Malanday, San Mateo, Rizal
Ian Abalos
0917 848 8644


Office: Welcome 1, Poblacion, San Andres, Quezon
Farm: Gapas, San Andres, Quezon
Mr. Alberto Fernandez/ Anatalio Asugao
0918 587 5966


Office: 15 Abelardo St., San Lorenzo Village, Makati City
Farm: Brgy. San Isidro, Lipa City, Batangas
Mr. Edwin C. Sanchez
0917 690 2545/ 817 5259

ED RANCH (commercial)

Office: Matungao, Masbate City
Farm: Bangad, Milagros, Masbate
Jeenalyn B. Du
056-582 1136/ 0917-517 7777/0917 790 7777


Office: 17 Winners Circle, NSHA, BF Homes, Paranaque
Farm: Tigbao, Milagros, Masbate
Mr. Adrian Favis
0920 926 5411/ 807 8683


Office: P.O. Box3, SMC 4 compound, National H-way, Apopong, Gen. Santos City
Farm: Brgy. Sirawal Gen. Santos City
Mr. Joven K. Chua

PESO FARM (multiplier)

Farm: Brgy. Silangan Sta. Maria, Bulacan
Dr. Camilo I. Porcincula
0917 835 8473/ 912 9294/ 912 9229


Farm: Mactan, Uson, Masbate
Queenie B. Buenaventura
056- 588 0509


Farm: SACI Compound, Maribulan Alabel, Sarangani Province




Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea botrytis) comes from the Latin caulis, which means "stalk," and floris, for "flower." Since the term "kale" is also related to caulis, the name could also be translated as kale flower or cabbage flower. The name is a nod to the fact that cauliflower is an unusual plant in a family which is cultivated for edible greens, not flowers. The plant is of Mediterranean origin, and tends to prefer cool, moist climates. It is cooked, steamed, stir fried or pickled.
(Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014)

For Cost and Returns, you may visit the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.

For further assistance in your area, you may check the Technical and Financial Assistance Directory.

Cultural Management


Climatic and Soil Requirements

Cauliflower requires an average moisture of 15-35 mm/week and is sensitive during early seedling or just after planting and during curd development.

Most varieties grow well in mid and high elevations during the dry season. Some varieties may perform well during the wet season in these areas. In low elevations, some varieties also perform well especially during the dry cool months.
These crops can be planted in most soils but clay loam to sandy loam are best.

Land Preparation

Thorough land preparation is done prior to transplanting. Prepare the land thoroughly by plowing and harrowing several times. Make sure that the field is well pulverized and free from farm weeds. In high elevations, prepare beds 0.75 to 1.0 m wide.

Crop Establishment

Seedling Production

Prepare 1m wide seedbeds at any convenient length. One hectare would require 50-70 meter square of seedbed. Incorporate manure and rice hull ash or wood ash. Line sow 280 g/ha of seed with furrows across the bed 7 to 10 cm apart. Sow thinly to prevent damping-off. Mulch with rice hull or grass clippings and water regularly. Provide nylon net tunnel as shade and rain barrier. Spray with pesticides when needed. Expose to full sunlight one week before transplanting. The seedlings are ready four weeks from sowing.


Water the seedbeds and gently uproot the seedlings. Transplant in rows 0.5 to 0.75 cm apart and 0.3 to 0.5 m between plants. Apply basal fertilizer at 10g 14-14-14/hill. Irrigate before and after transplanting.

Mulch with rice straw, rice hull or plastic to prevent weed growth and conserve soil moisture. It is best also to intercrop with bunching onion, bulb onion, garlic, kutsai, tomato, marigold, and other crops to minimize insect pests

Nutrient and Water Management

Side-dress with urea (46-0-0) at the rate of 5 to 10g / plant 2-3 weeks after transplanting. Repeat side-dressing at 35 and 45 days after transplanting with 10g/hill of 2:1 mixture of 46-0-0 and 0-0-60. Fertilize only after weeding. In some areas, boron fertilizer may be needed.

During the dry season, irrigate before transplanting. Repeat every 7 to 10 days (furrow irrigation) or 2 to 3 times per week (sprinkler irrigation). Mulching helps minimize irrigation frequency.

Pest and Disease Management

1. Damping off
Recommendation: Avoid overcrowding and too much watering in seed beds; drench with Captan Solution
2. Black Rot
Recommendation: Spray fungicides at the onset of disease; Crop rotation
3. Soft Rot
Recommendation: Remove and bury infected plants; crop rotation

1. Cabbage Looper
Recommendation: Spray with hot pepper/tobacco extract, or pesticides
2. Cabbage webworm
Recommendation: Spray with hot pepper extract or pesticides
3. Aphids
Recommendation: Spray with soap solution or pesticides


Curds should be harvested as soon as they reach the proper market size and before discoloration begins. This is approximately 60 days after planting. During harvest, include portions of stem and leaves. Avoid exposing the produce to full sunlight.

Source: Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014




Chayote (Sechium edule) is indigenous to Southern Mexico, Central America and is also grown in the West Indies and other warm regions. It is suited to higher elevations in the tropics and is also commonly cultivated in the sub-tropics.It is a vegetable common to the local markets. The fruits are eaten boiled as a vegetable, as are the large tuberous roots. The young leaves and tender shoots are sometimes eaten as spinach. The tuberous, starchy root is relished by some as a vegetable too. In Mexico, this is boiled and candied, or sliced and fried for table use. Chayote is oftentimes called the poor man's vegetable. Candy manufacturers and food processors have found the vegetable as an ideal cheap base for their various products. Pig growers also use it as one of the cheapest food supplements. (Source: Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014)

For Prices and Market Trends, you may visit the Agriculture and Fisheries Market Information System.

For further assistance in your area, you may check the Technical and Financial Assistance Directory.

Cultural Management


Climatic and Soil Requirements

Loose fertile soil is ideal for chayote. The crop, however, can be grown in a wide range of soil types. Cooler places with evenly distributed rainfall are suitable for chayote growing. Marginal areas where most crops are grown are used in the cultivation of chayote.

Crop Establishment

The seedlings are usually alternately planted at hill with row spacing of 3-5 meters. One to three seedlings of about 30cm high are planted in a hill. Holes are dug 30 cm wide and deep. Compost is thoroughly mixed with the top soil and placed back in the hole. Enough moisture should be given to the plants after planting.

The seedlings should be provided with enough water and fertilizer, and freed from noxious weeds. Stakes to serve as support and guide for the vines should be installed on time.

Cultivation and Weeding

As soon as the plants have established into the ground, cultivation and weeding should be employed whenever deemed necessary. A radius of 2 meters around each hill should be kept weed free to provide ample space for the crop's growth and development. Once the crop has spread on and covered the trellis, weed growth is suppressed. The conventional trellis system is still practiced.

Pruning and Trellising

If the intention of the farmer is the production of fruits, minimum pruning is necessary but the main vines should be well-trained for proper spreading and most effective use of sunlight, carbon dioxide, and other growth factors. Other farmers grow Chayote for their fresh tops. For this purpose, the farmer prunes as he harvest.
The use of side trellis may be applicable in areas prone to strong winds. The technique can withstand strong winds and with pruning, can enhance higher fruit bearing for the chayote crop.

Nutrient Management

Organic fertilizers are good for the crop. Basal application of compost is recommended. Side dressing should be done 7 to 8 weeks after planting with complete fertilizers and should be repeated every before and after the rainy season.

Harvest Management

The fruits are harvested manually once they reach the desired size. Proper handling, which involves the use of proper baskets or other containers and putting the harvested fruits to a convenient shade makes the product stays fresh for a longer time.

Source: Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 24 March 2014