Safeguarding the

International Cocoa Genebank, Trinidad (ICG,T)

A Global Resource for the Cocoa Industry

Project objectives

  1. Establish a new propagation facility to multiply all genotypes under threat. The aim is to ensure all cocoa accessions in the International Cocoa Genebank, Trinidad are represented by at least five plants derived from rooted cuttings. The majority of accessions in the ICG,T were established as rooted cuttings, however the most recent introductions entered the genebank in the first instance as grafted plants with the aim of generating young, healthy trees capable of providing vigorous shoots suitable for re-propagation as rooted cuttings.
    Approximately 700 clones in the ICG,T are currently only represented by grafted material will be replaced with trees derived from rooted cuttings. Cuttings will also be established from a further 590 clones currently considered to be at risk since they are represented by fewer than five plants derived from rooted cuttings.
  2. Introduce 511 clones surviving only as aged trees in historic genebanks in Trinidad to the ICG,T. Material collected between the 1930s and the 1970s was established at sites around Trinidad including Marper farm, Cheesman field and the University Campus but 511 clones have not yet been successfully introduced into ICG,T. 
    Many of these trees are now over 60 years old and are reaching the end of their natural life. Re propagation, initially via grafting to rejuvenate the material and then by rooted cuttings is urgently needed to establish these plants in ICG,T before the original material is lost forever.
  3. Construct an irrigation system incorporating reservoirs and a pipe network sufficient to distribute water throughout the ICG,T site. Reservoirs with a total capacity of 22,500m3 are required together with a distribution system of pipes at regular intervals across each of the fields.

International Cocoa Genebank Trinidad - Photo of the construction stage of the irrigation pond, to be connected to a pipe network to distribute water throughout the ICGT. Click to view the finished pond.

  1. To improve security by constructing a fence and establishing patrols for pre– and post– working hours. The University Cocoa Research Station site where the ICG,T is located is isolated from the main campus of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and the offices of CRC.
    It is at risk from fires, deliberate damage and theft. A perimeter fence (2,000 m) is proposed, which, together with regular patrols, will reduce the risk of theft of the new irrigation equipment, prevent vandalism and allow early detection of fires and action to prevent spread.
LNV Projects
ICS Flavour Project | Safeguarding the ICGT