Welcome to the SERGE BUENO FARM. The farmer Rolando Bueno is known as “Serge” - short for Sergeant. He is a retired Sergeant of the Philippine Marines and now dedicated to working with other retired members of the Marines to cultivate fine cacao. He is originally from the northern part of the Philippines but decided to permanently relocate to Davao, which is in the southern part, when his battalion was assigned there.
The farm is located in the Calinan District of Davao City at the picturesque foothills of Mt. Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines!
The mineral-rich volcanic soil combined with the humid tropical forest climate make the land incredibly fertile, which contributes to the greater abundance of crops and possibilities to grow many species together. A large variety of tropical fruit trees and livestock such as native chicken and goats can be found on the farm, and in the area also many vegetables are grown. Serge’s Farm is located in the more rural part of Davao city that is mostly agriculture-based. As a result of the collective effort of farmers in his village, his area has progressed significantly over the last few years. His farm has helped create job opportunities for other retired marines and members of his community.
The Farm was previously owned his mother-in-law (Ms. Augustinia Duterte) and was passed on to Serge when he was named as the heir.
To grow his crops Serge uses an average of 0 to 20 liters of water per tree per week, which is sourced from spring and rainwaters, mainly with the typical channel irrigation system.
Farmer Bueno also installed submersible water pumps to be able to continuously collect surface water for the needs of the Farm.
The farm is in transition to organic farming:
As an organic practitioner, Farmer Bueno controls weeds by planting trees for shading, monitoring fertility level of soil, mulching and manually pulling out the weeds, if necessary.
Serge’s Farm avoids the use of chemical insecticides. Farmer Serge and his team make their own natural products for plant health on the farm. They also create a friendly ecosystem where the beneficial insects will thrive, by planting a variety of nectar and pollen producing shrubs, trees and native plants and leaving the dried leaves and branches as a mulch around the cacao trees. Intercropping of different species (with shade trees, fruit trees) is practised and this diversified farming approach instead of monocropping is in the center of attention. He is practicing composting. It is an effective way to recycle waste products. The compost consists of dried leaves, twigs, manure, rotten fruits, vegetables and kitchen scraps.
After the harvest the cocoa beans have to be sorted: Premium quality beans are supplied to Auro company and imperfect beans were processed by Serge as local products such as local “tablea” for personal consumption and for sale to the villagers.
Premium Quality beans are classified and characterized based on Philippine Standard, ICCO standard and Auro Standard( ISO-02451). Pruned leaves and branches and dried cacao pod husks are decomposed and used as soil fertilizer as well. Also, the cacao pulp juice is processed and turned into wine and vinegar. Lastly, the cacao bean shells are fed to the chickens.
Serge has been running the farm already over the last 15 years and is working with a stable team of 6 persons, following the government mandated minimum salary scale.
He is promoting a harmonious working environment, safe working practices and provides personal protection to our workers.