Type: Chapter

Conserving and exploiting cocoa genetic resources: the key challenges


Brigitte Laliberté

Bioversity International

Michelle End

Cocoa Research Association Ltd

Nicholas Cryer

Mondelez International, UK

Andrew Daymond

University of Reading

Jan Engels

Bioversity International, Italy

Albertus Bernardus Eskes

formerly CIRAD and Bioversity International, France


Publication date:

08 August 2018

ID: 9781838793500

E-Chapter format

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The future of the world cocoa economy depends on the availability of genetic diversity and the sustainable use of this broad genetic base to breed improved varieties. Decreasing cacao genetic diversity (in situ, on-farm and conserved in collections) is a serious problem, and all its many causes need to be urgently addressed: the destruction of the Amazonian rainforests, changing patterns of land use, the spread of pests and diseases, sudden changes in climate and threats from natural disasters and extreme weather. These factors are resulting in an irreversible loss of the cacao genetic diversity so essential for farmers, breeders and consumers. A Global Strategy was published in 2012 to optimize the conservation and maximize the use of cacao genetic resources as the foundation of a sustainable cocoa economy. The chapter describes the key challenges, how they are being addressed and the priorities for further research and actions.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 How challenges are being addressed: an overview
3 Addressing challenges: securing existing ex situ cacao genetic resources
4 Addressing challenges: developing a global strategic cacao collection
5 Addressing challenges: collecting and gap filling in ex situ collections to reflect genetic diversity
6 Addressing challenges: ensuring the in situ and on-farm conservation of important diversity
7 Addressing challenges: strengthening the distribution and safe movement of germplasm
8 Addressing challenges: strengthening the use of cacao genetic resources
9 Addressing challenges: improving documentation and sharing of information
10 Strengthening networking and partnerships for global collaboration
11 Research to strengthen the conservation and use of cacao genetic diversity
12 Acknowledgements
13 Where to look for further information
14 References