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Cocoa Forest Project’s Organization

20 February 2020
The project began in 2015 studying all the books on cocoa growing in the Dominican Republic. The idea was to educate ourselves on what was known before starting our research.

In the field, our teams contacted several grower cooperatives in order to confirm interest in the project, this is how we found our first partners: the coops Fundopo and Conacado.

Thanks to these growers and field knowledge, we decided to run some cultivation tests in three regions of the Dominican Republic: El Seibo, Duarte and San Cristobal:

The Cirad teams spent almost 2 years conducting field surveys in cocoa plantations in those 3 regions: tree spacing, tree diameter, list of the cocoa growing tree species, age of the trees, etc.

Meanwhile, the TFT (The Forest Trust) teams studied the various commercial opportunities the growers could develop outside of just cocoa. To know more on production exploitation of cocoa plantations outside cocoa:

Then and in parallel, we organized workshops with growers to determine the agro-forest combinations we were going to try.

The workshops are now over and we can start planting the shoots in nurseries according to the species we selected.

In November 2018, we will plant the young trees in the plantations. These tests will happen both on new plots and on old cocoa plots. This will allow us to find out if it is better to create new plots or if readapting old ones gives out the same yield.

We will then have to wait several years to compare tree growth on the different plots and between 5 and 6 years to compare their pod production.