Plantation Design & Genetic Resource Management
The majority of native fine and flavor cacao in production is cultivated on old farms with little management. As any tree crop, cacao requires care. It’s impossible to compare the economic feasibilty of native cacao to that of commercial cacao clones without first making it scalable and productive.
Researchers on the FFC project are investigating how best to combine elite matrails of native fine and flavor cacao varieties at plantation level. Through reconversion of the canopy of existing cacao plantations of 12 farmers in Piura and 12 farmers in Cusco (the homelands of Piura white and Cusco chuno FFC varieties, respectively) we are aiming to unravel which planting designs are most productive depending on the FFC matrials used, shade level, distance from remaining natural forest etc.