United Nations Common Fund For Commodities International Cocoa Organization Bioversity International formerly known as IPGRI

Cocoa Productivity and Quality Improvement: A Participatory Approach

Overall Aim:
To improve the welfare of the large number of smallholders growing cocoa through sustainable higher productivity of good quality cocoa at lower production cost.

Project Activities:
Selection, distribution and use of new cocoa varieties with improved yield capacity resistance and quality traits to make cocoa cultivation more competitive. Activities will also facilitate diversification of cocoa-based farming systems by reducing the land, labour and cash requirements for cocoa cultivation.
Specific objectives (consistent with cocoa development strategies identified by stakeholders to increase productivity, quality and enhance plant varieties through distribution of improved genetic materials):

(i) To disseminate and validate promising cocoa varieties in farmers' fields through participatory approaches, involving farmers directly in evaluation and selection processes;

(ii) to increase sustainability in cocoa improvement programmes through validation and dissemination of select cocoa varieties between partners, enhanced regional and international collaborative research and development activities, and capacity development;

(iii) to exchange information and disseminate results between project partners and other cocoa producing countries not directly participating in the project;

(iv) to establish and maintain functional linkages between national cocoa breeding programmes, international cocoa genebanks and quarantine centres and international cocoa research and development efforts.

Cocoa pod from the ICGT. Image copyright Cocoa Research Centre.

Project partner countries:

  • Africa (Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria);
  • Latin America and Central America (Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Trinidad, Venezuela),
  • Asia (Malaysia) and the Pacific Islands (Papua New Guinea),
  • Europe (France, Italy, England)
  • United States of America.

Project duration
5 years. Start date: June, 2004.

Financed by
United Nations Common Fund For Commodities

Supervisory body
International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO)

Project Executing Agency

Cofinanced by the following:

Cocoa Research Association, UK, formerly the BCCCA - Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Association Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement, CIRAD-CP, France Guittard Chocolate Company, Burlingame, USA Masterfoods, UK United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) World Cocoa Foundation

CRA (formerly BCCCA), CIRAD, Guittard, Masterfoods, USDA, and WCF.


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