A goal of the Cocoa Farming Future Initiative (CFFI) is to help organize and make more efficient the cocoa production in existing nurseries.
The nurseries propagate various fruit trees mostly for farmers. The Grenada Cocoa Association (GCA) provides assistance to three governmental nurseries for the production of cocoa plants, namely in: Boulogne (parish of Saint Andrew), Ashendem (parish of Saint Davis), and Maren (parish of Saint John).
Most cocoa plants are produced by means of cuttings, providing clones of the various species existing on the island.
|Cuttings being planted (Ashendem)|
The Cocoa Research Centre located at the University of the West Indies (Trinidad) explains the positive effect of grafting compared to cuttings.
Grafted or budded plants have a tap root system that can go up to 2 meters in depth. This anchors the tree in the ground, providing needed resistance towards hurricanes. Furthermore, it enables the tree to absorb nutrient and water from deeper in the soil, giving trees stronger health and resilience to erratic weather conditions. Cuttings have fibrous root system that do not go as deep into the soil and provide trees suitable for flat land.
|Grafted cocoa sapling|
This is why, the GCA started small-scale trials to find best ways of grafting cocoa plants Ashendem.
CFFI wants to give its support in the trials and hope to be able to set some trials in the nursery of Maren with the support of the GCA
as soon as possible.