1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To foster the relationship between research, industrial and production interests to facilitate the development and implementation of improved cacao production mechanisms. These approaches to improve cacao production envisioned by this agreement will promote the development of sustainable crop production strategies that will safeguard the supply of this vital raw material.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The World Cocoa Foundation and its members actively promote sustainable cacao production through economic and social development and environmental conservation in cacao-growing communities. The project will emphasize the coordination of research approaches and attempt to promote cacao production by incorporating improved management strategies and cultural practices, and through the optimization and use of cacao genetic diversity. The agreement will promote international partnerships and cooperation with the USDA-ARS. This agreement will also provide a forum for interactions between researchers industry members and cacao producers so that immediate research needs can be addressed.
This agreement provided a key link to U.S. and International stakeholders, through quarterly roundtable meetings, the annual World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) Partnership meeting in Washington, D.C. and through a special event such as “Chocolate in the Rainforest” at the U.S. Botanical Gardens. This agreement also provides a link to the WCF/FAS Borlaug initiative, which will sponsor one Borlaug fellow from Ghana to study black pod rot diseases of cacao in this lab. This collaboration with Ghana broadens our connection to International researchers through capacity building. This agreement with WCF, also led to a monetary research gift, which was given to the lab by one of the foundation members to advance the cacao research.