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Improved cacao planting materials
A review released in August 2015 and coordinated by Bioversity International, reports on the current technologies used to propagate improved cacao planting materials, and the prospects for improving and scaling up these mechanisms to meet the increasing demand of cocoa.
The report ‚‘Supplying new cocoa planting material to farmers: a review of propagation methodologies‘ notes that besides ageing tree stocks, pests and diseases and declining soil fertility; a major obstacle in achieving a higher and more sustainable cocoa production is the capacity to supply significant volumes of improved planting material and cacao plants to farmers.
Increasing the use of better planting material is essential not only to keep pace with the rising demand for cocoa, but also to make cocoa production more sustainable. Higher-yielding varieties that are able to resist attacks from pests and diseases would reduce deforestation and the environmental footprint for cocoa production, and allow other tree crops to be grown in the same growing areas.
The review describes the various methods currently available for the production and supply of large numbers of cacao plants to growers, detailing various approaches and describing the advantages and challenges of each.