Asia-Pacific Cocoa Breeders Working Group Meeting inaugurated


The five days international meeting of Asia-Pacific Cocoa Breeders Working Group got started at ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasaragod, Kerala, India on20th  May, 2019.

Dr. N. Kumar, Vice Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, inaugurated the meeting.Dr. N. Kumar, VC, TNAU in his inaugural address stressed the need to evolve cocoa hybrids with higher yields and resistance to pests and diseases. He also suggested exchange of such hybrids among the countries to multiply locally for distribution to the farmers. High density planting of cocoa as a monocrop was suggested to experiment for increase of productivity.

The meeting was presided over by Dr.Venkatesh N. Hubballi, Director, Directorate of Cashewnut and Cocoa Development (DCCD), Kochi.Dr.Venkatesh N. Hubballi, in his presidential address informed the international community that Indian cocoa beans are the best in the world.He called for close linkage of research and development departments to fulfil the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision to enhance area under cashew and cocoa, the poor man’s crops.

Dr.Smilja Lambert, Cocoa Research Manager (Asia/Pacific), Mars Inc., briefed the gathering regarding the activities and breeding programmes of Asia-Pacifi Cocoa Working Group.


Shri S.N. Bhat, Vice-President, CAMPCO, Dr. H.P. Maheswarappa, Project Coordinator, AICRP (Palms), Dr. J. Dilip Babu, Director of Research, Dr. YSR Horticultural University have felicitated the meeting.CAMPCO activities were highlighted by Shri SN Bhat. Highlighted the various brands of chocolates and the products from Cocoa. He highlighted the role played by the CAMPCO in supply of seedlings and in the raw cocoa beans collection.Dr.Maheswarappa indicated the perspectives of area expansion and productivity improvement in cocoa needs collaborative effort of researchers and development agencies including private companies in the field. Dr.Dilip Babu stressed the need for supply of good planting materials to the farmers in quickest possible time to support the economic production.

Dr. Anitha Karun, Acting Director, ICAR, CPCRI, Kasaragod welcomed the gathering and Dr. Elain, Apshara, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CPCRI, Regional Station, Vittal and convenor of the meeting, proposed vote of thanks.

Apart from 31 delegates from ICAR-CPCRI, Kerala Agricultural University, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and Dr. YSRHU, Andhra Pradesh, working on Cocoa research, 13 delegates from eight countries are participating in the meeting, includingDr.Smilja Lambert, Cocoa Research Manager (Asia/Pacific), Mars Inc., Australia; Dr. Etienne Jean Michel Lambert, Retd. Agronomist, Australia; Dr. Indah Anita Sari, Plant Breeder, Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI), Indonesia; Dr.BayuSetyawan, Cocoa Breeder, ICCRI, Indonesia; Dr.HayaRamba, 

Director of Cocoa Upstream Technology Division, Malaysian Cocoa Board (MCB), Malaysia; Dr.Nuraziawatibinti Mat Yazik, Cocoa Breeder, MCB, Malaysia; Dr. Romulo L. Cena, Leader of Cocoa Program, University of Southern Mindanao (USM), Philippines; Dr. Sheena B. Lucena, Cocoa breeder, USM, Philippines; Dr. Pham Hong DucPhuoc, Nong Lam University (NLU-University of Agriculture & Forestry, Vietnam; Dr. Le ThiTuyet, NLU, Vietnam; Dr. David Mackill, Breeding Director Mars Wrigley Confectionary USA; Dr. Stefan Royaert, Cocoa breeder, Mars, Belgium; and Dr.MarfuJeffrie, Director of Research Cocoa Board of Papua New Guinea.


This group meeting has the following objectives:

  • To evaluate critically the strength and weakness of cocoa sector in the Asia-pacific countries
  • To discuss and develop action plans to manage existing as well as emerging pests and diseases of cocoa in the region, especially from climate change perspective.
  • To review the collaborative evaluation trials in the region and to initiate trials in India.

Technical sessions of the group meeting to fulfil the above objectives include:

  • Presentation of country-wise status papers; presentation of regional research activities;
  • Discussions on existing and emerging pests and diseases;
  • Interactions on socio economic development programmes of public/ private sectors;
  • Deliberations on cocoa processing, value addition and marketing; and also
  • Visits to ICAR-CPCRI, Regional Station, Vittal, Research Centre, Kidu and the CAMPCO.

Cocoa is a profitable plantation crop, amenable for mixed cropping in palm based cropping systems of Asia Pacific region. World demand for chocolate is increasing steadily with an annual growth rate of over 10%. The current demand of cocoa beans for Indian chocolate industry is 40,000 t against the production of 18,000 t. Therefore, there is a huge potential for increasing the domestic cocoa area and production which in turn will result in import substitution.


CPCRI initiated cocoa research in 1969 at its Regional Station, Vittal, Karnataka. Fifty years of cocoa research has culminated in development of high yielding varieties, cropping system models, canopy architecture techniques, advanced cultivation and post-harvest technologies for the improvement of cocoa. With DCCD under Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India as developmental agency, CAMPCO as a co-operative offering procurement and processing facilities. Indian cocoa sector has been systematically laid out in the public sector and also by the private sector Cadbury (Mondelez) in the private sector.




ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute
Kasaragod,Kerala, 671124

Last Updated on : 21 / January / 2020

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Time: 2020-04-04 02:14:22


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