Fact Finding as part of an International Training Workshop "Science and Technology for Sustainable Cocoa Development"
Cocoa, as an expression of native biodiversity and ecosystem services provider, was the focus of a recent international event attended by German and Peruvian scientists from August 15-19 in the cities of Lima and Tarapoto.
CBL organized a DAAD Fact Finding Mission with five participants from Universities of Göttingen and Würzburg. The event, implemented by GIZ through the ProAmbiente program, served as a meeting point for researchers from the Universities of Hamburg, Goettingen, Würzburg and Tübingen, belonging to the disciplines of ecology, biochemistry, and biology, and Peruvian researchers from the National Agrarian University - La Molina, the National University of San Martín, the Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia, the Scientific University of the South, the National University of San Antonio Abad of Cusco, the University of Piura and National University of the Jungle. Also present were national research institutions such as the National Institute for Agrarian Innovation (INIA), the Cocoa Innovation Center (CIC), and the Institute of Tropical Crops (ICT) as well as cocoa farmer associations led by the Peruvian Association of Cocoa Producers (APPCACAO).
The objectives of the training workshop were aimed at promoting the exchange and the update of research advances on issues related to the genetic diversity of cocoa and its conservation, the potentials of native cocoas and their relation to organoleptic quality (the "bean to bar" focus), and the relationship between cocoa agroforestry systems and ecosystem services.
In this context, it has been possible to define a joint Peru-Germany research agenda to be further developed in the coming years focused on three specific areas: i) Genetics and Quality under the "bean to bar" approach; ii) Agroforestry, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services with an specific focus on "combining high yields, biodiversity conservation and Ecosystem Functioning in tropical agroforestry systems"; and iii) Strategies for Mitigation of Cadmium in Cocoa with microorganisms and biodiversity management.
On an excursion to the Parque Nacional Cordillera Azul, the fact finding group visited shaded cacoa plantations of different age and discussed management practices with local farmers.
We aim at proposing joint projects studying ecological intensification to support diverse ecosystem services in cacao agroforestry systems of Peru. They will combine biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, sustainable production and quality of cacao.