Genetic Resources and Breeding

The supply of improved planting material to farmers is the basis of sustainable cocoa production. Farmers need varieties that are well adapted to their local conditions and capable of providing them with a sustainable and profitable yield.

Breeding a tree crop like cocoa takes time and resources. Although breeding work must be carried out locally to ensure the material released to farmers meets their needs, international efforts can support the breeders by ensuring they have access to the genetic resources, and associated knowledge on how best to use it, that they need to enhance progress.

UK industry has supported a combination of long-term activities and shorter projects to support the breeding effort and has also played an important role in several large international initiatives to coordinate the genetic resources effort and accelerate the production of new varieties for farmers.

Collecting
Increasing the diversity of germplasm available to the international cocoa community.
Conservation
Ensuring the long-term survival of cocoa germplasm.
Characterising and Cataloguing
Ensuring the correct identification of germplasm and assessing its attributes.
Selection and Evaluation
Supporting efforts to combine favourable traits and evaluate and understand performance.
Distribution
Ensuring the safe transfer of germplasm internationally and improving the availability of planting materials to the farmer through seed gardens/nursery management and ways to ensure its successful field establishment.
The Mabang Megakarya Selection Programme (MMSP)

A large-scale cocoa breeding initiativethat builds on past breeding efforts to provide for the current needs of the farmer and industry while developing the future planting material necessary for long-term, sustainable cocoa production in Ghana...view more ›››

"Improved planting material is a vital component of sustainable cocoa production"