WEST AFRICAN COCOA BREEDERS WORKING GROUP: DEVELOPMENT OF A REGIONAL BREEDING STRATEGY FOR THEOBROMA CACAO
Project Number: 0210-22310-003-12
Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 15, 2007
End Date: Jun 30, 2012
The objective of this cooperative research project is to support the efforts of a regional working group in West Africa to coalesce their breeding programs into a cooperative, strategic approach to improve Theobroma cacao.
These activities are being conducted within the framework of the Sustainable Tree Crops Program (STCP), managed by IITA. The STCP was created to as a platform for a public-private partnership between industry, producers, researchers, government agencies, public sector institutions and conservation groups to coordinate, manage and focus efforts towards sustainable tree crop development in Sub Saharan Africa, particularly in the area of cocoa cultivation. USDA-ARS is developing a number of projects with CRIG, the CNRA, IRAD and CRIN supporting molecular marker work and transferring disease resistance to be implemented through cooperative research agreements in coordination with a West African breeders working group. The working group has been developing closer regional linkages in support of their breeding programs; however more intensive, regular facilitation would help catalyze the development of a regional breeding strategy. Thus, this project would establish support efforts for the working group to develop a regional breeding strategy by facilitating regional meetings, supporting an elected chair for the group to coordinate efforts annually among the research institutions and with the STCP and other relevant organizations and projects.