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Cirad

On-farm and on-station selection of new cocoa varieties in Ecuador

Amores F.M., Vasco S.A., Eskes A., Suarez C., Quiroz J.G., Loor R.G., Jimenez J.C., Zambrano J., Bolanos M.J., Reynel V.H., Teran M.M., Quijano G.C.. 2011. In : Eskes Albertus (ed.). Collaborative and participatory approaches to cocoa variety improvement : final report of the CFC/ICCO/Biodiversity international project on "Cocoa productivity and quality improvement: a participatory approach" (2004-2010). Amsterdam : CFC, p. 59-72. (CFC Technical paper, 59).

The CFC/ICCO/Bioversity International project "Cocoa Productivity and Quality Improvement: a Participatory Approach" (2004-2010), chapter INIAP-Ecuador, provided an opportunity to continue evaluating most of the hybrid and clone trials started during the CFC/ICCO/IPGRI project "Cocoa Germplasm Utilization and Conservation: a Global Approach" (1998-2003), and to start participative cocoa research with the inclusion of producers pursuing a more efficient selection of superior cocoa cultivars. Under the umbrella of the current project, an agrosocio- economic study was completed, providing some useful insights on the multifactor environment which influences cocoa production in three distinct zones of Ecuador. Some important germplasm collecting activities also took place, enriching the phenotypic and genotypic variability of the cocoa genebank held by the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP) at the Estación Experimental Tropical Pichilingue (EET Pichilingue). The project's period was also fruitful in providing information on the influence of some agronomic factors (compatibility, pruning levels, planting density, drought resistance, differences in flowering and other phenological markers) and on sensorial differences among distinct genotypes. Best hybrid trees were selected and multiplied as clones to compare their performance in trials which are currently being conducted both at the EET Pichilingue and in farmers' fields. These experiments will hopefully be the source of new commercial fine or flavour cocoa cultivars in the near future. The most important output of both abovementioned projects is their contribution, together with other projects, towards building up an important genetic base to gradually develop new cocoa varieties well into the next quarter of the century. Training and opportunities to develop research, agronomic and managerial experience for a number of people locally involved in the project represent an additional dimension in which the project made valuable contributions. We may well divide the cocoa breeding process in Ecuador into two parts, i.e. before and after the implementation period of both projects (1998-2010). (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : hybride; clone; méthodologie; projet de recherche; Évaluation de l'impact; environnement socioéconomique; multiplication des plantes; participation des agriculteurs; expérimentation en laboratoire; expérimentation au champ; variété; sélection; amélioration des plantes; theobroma cacao; Équateur

Thématique : Génétique et amélioration des plantes; Méthodes de recherche

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