Cocoa diversity online tool

Cocoa is vulnerable to climate change, which is already affecting cacao cultivation around the world, causing higher mortality of seedlings and adult trees, declines in yield quality and quantity, and increased incidence of pests and diseases. The introduction of material tolerant to climate change in cacao farms represents one of the most promising options to adapt cacao cultivation to climate change.

This tool has been developed to provide location-specific information about how to improve sustainability of cacao farms in South America. The tool gives information about the future impact of climate change on cacao cultivation and guides the selection of appropriate propagation material for climate change adaptation. The tool also includes information on the likely cadmium content in soil and cacao beans, and more features are expected to be included.

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In what context is this tool useful?

This tool is useful for cocoa farmers in Peru and Ecuador who want to know which areas are suitable for cultivated cacao under irrigation, rainfed cultivated cacao, wild cacao, and ecogeographical zones under current climatic conditions.

Cocoa farmers in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, or Guatemala can see which are suitable areas for cultivated cacao.

The tool also indicates whether cacao cultivation is likely to be negatively impacted by climate change in the future, and which climatic variables are expected to impact cacao cultivation the most in selected sites. It provides some recommendations to mitigate those expected climate impacts.

Cocoa farmers will find a list of genebanks, clonal gardens and nurseries where they can select appropriate climate-change tolerant propagation material for their selected sites. The list includes contact information and types of available varieties (for instance promising for high productivity, fine flavor, resistance to drought etc.).

Users can select whether they want to include in the report also maps showing the phenological stages of cocoa.

Users in Peru can access information about the likely cadmium content in soil and cacao beans in selected sites.

Results achieved

  • Development of a strong system of certification, verification and especially traceability of cocoa genetic material in individual countries and for Latin America
  • Better characterization of the materials conserved within the GB/CG and promotion of the best materials in farmers’ field and within breeding programs
  • Better characterization of varieties sold in nurseries and improvement of nursery infrastructure, maintenance and technical assistance offered to farmers
  • Promotion of research on native fine or flavor cocoas in Ecuador and Peru
  • Reactivation of breeding programs using native materials and rediscovery of Criollo cocoas in Central America.

Variations on this method

No variations of this tool have yet been developed

Contact people

Viviana Ceccarelli -