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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Develop Sustainable Production System for Tropical Tree Crops and Assess Germplasm to Improve Cacao Sustainability

Location: Sustainable Perennial Crops

Project Number: 1245-21000-278-01
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 01, 2012
End Date: Jun 01, 2015

Objective:
1. Assess cacao genotypes tolerant to abiotic stresses(soil acidity, irradiance, drought), evaluate the effects of legume cover crops residues and NPK fertilizers on cacao yields and soil quality parameters, and to develop improved management systems that maintain or improve cacao yields and soil quality. 2. Select, establish, and evaluate Peruvian cacao germplasm accessions for improved agronomic traits.

Approach:
1. Coordinate with ARS and ICT (Instituto de Cultivos Tropicales), Tarapoto, Peru and UNALM (Univ. Nacional Agraria La Molina), Lima, Peru in development of needed facilities and locations to implement greenhouse and field experiments and mutually acceptable research protocol. The agreement promotes international partnerships and cooperation with the USDA-ARS. 2. Develop greenhouse studies to evaluate native and international cacao clones tolerance to abiotic stresses (drought, light, soil acidity), establish field studies with cacao genotypes to develop improved environmentally sustainable management systems in selected cacao growing regions of Peru to evaluate their impact on soil quality parameters and yield of cacao, and further evaluate the effects of legume cover crops residues and NPK fertilizers on soil quality parameters and factors affecting yields of cacao. 3. Assess genetic diversity in wild populations and farmer selections of cacao using molecular markers. A core set of the germplasm then will be selected and evaluated in clonal gardens and farmers’ fields for agronomic traits.

Last Modified: 4/24/2014
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