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This is the third International Workshop to be organised by INGENIC, the International Group for the Genetic Improvement of Cocoa. It follows the International Workshop on Cocoa Breeding Strategies (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1994) and the International Workshop on the Contribution of Disease Resistance to Cocoa Variety Improvement (Salvador, Brazil 1996). These Workshops provide an important opportunity for cocoa breeders to exchange views amongst themselves and, particularly for the two most recent workshops, with experts from related fields. INGENIC decided to organise its third International Workshop on New Technologies and Cocoa Breeding’ following a recommendation of the INGENIC General Meeting (Salvador, November 1996). INGENIC is most grateful to the Cocoa Producers’ Alliance and the Malaysian Cocoa Board for allowing this Workshop to be held on the occasion of the International Cocoa Research Conference October 2000, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Progress in the development of new technologies in plant breeding has been tremendous during the last 15 years and practical applications are now emerging. The expectations of the new technologies are high, though it is understood that these techniques can only make a useful contribution if the traditional breeding base is strong enough to support their integration. It is often felt that there is still a large gap between traditional breeding and molecular biology. Certainly, an increased level of interaction between the new’ and traditional technologists is a first requirement for any use of new technologies for the benefit of the cocoa farmers and consumers. It is estimated that presently there are equal numbers of cocoa geneticists who are developing or using new technologies and traditional plant breeders. The aim of the Workshop was to stimulate interaction between these researchers, INGENIC invited Dr. Mike Wilkinson, a molecular biologist/breeder with experience of many crops, including cocoa, to give an overview of the potential of new technologies in plant breeding. This presentation was followed by five sessions covering the various techniques and applications to cocoa genetics/breeding. Presentations in each session were followed by discussion and the last session was devoted to the formulation of the Workshop Conclusions and Recommendations. The sixty participants, from 16 countries, were encouraged to consider the progress made to date with each of the new technologies, to identify applications for the information that has already been generated and to make recommendations on new collaborative activities that could realise the full potential of these new technologies in cocoa breeding.
The editors were pleased to receive full papers of good quality soon after the Workshop. The editing of these papers, including the feedback between the editors and the authors, was necessarily more time-consuming. The editors are grateful to several authors who agreed to include more information in their written papers than was presented during the Workshop. This was especially so for the studies concerning the genetic structure of cocoa populations, which now include often detailed information on genetic distances between accessions studied and on the level of heterozygosity of these genotypes. Both types of information are of fundamental importance for the better usage of these genotypes in cocoa breeding.
INGENIC is engaged in organising its fourth Workshop, which is likely to be held to coincide with the l4~ International Cocoa Research Conference. The theme of the workshop will be “Cocoa Breeding for Improved Production Systems’.
The editors of the Workshop Proceedings July, 2001
Joao Louis Pereira
Chairman of the international Permanent Working Group for Cocoa Pests and Diseases (INCOPED)
The first meeting on cocoa pests and diseases was held in Accra, Ghana in November, 1995. Gratefully, this was a result of the initiative and under the auspices of the Cocoa Research Institution of Ghana. At that Accra meeting, it was decided to revive activities in cocoa crop protection, through the formation of a group, needed to address specific problems. A consensus was reached and as an outcome, tentative terms of reference were discussed.
Specialised meetings on cocoa pests and diseases have been held in years gone by, but these were normally conducted on a regional basis as African and Latin American sub-groups. Therefore, the proposed group aimed to have a wider participation, examining research advances in common problems while also being aware of, and prepared for, threats of new cocoa pest and diseases.
The then forthcoming 12th International Cocoa Research Conference in Salvador, Brazil in November, 1996, was considered to be a suitable venue to discuss, in some details, the aims and objectives of the Group, allowing for the presence of a better representation of cocoa producing countries and other interested parties. Therefore, on 23~ November, 1996, in Salvador, thirty-three participants representing fourteen countries, drew-up the Terms of Reference and elected office bearers. Subsequently, the Group took on the acronym of INCOPED and the Terms of Reference were published in the Vt Issue of the INCOPED NEWSLETTER in September, 1997. In December 1997, Ivory Coast hosted the 2~ International Seminar on Cocoa Pests and Diseases at Yamoussoukro, This meeting was particularly well attended not only by participants from cocoa producing countries but also by other researchers worldwide.
Considering that in most cocoa producing countries, the limiting factor in the economics of cocoa production is governed by the presence of serious pests and diseases, I believe that INCOPED will continue to play an increasingly important role. At this moment, harmonising our present knowledge has been one of our more important activities. This was done through seminars (with published Proceedings), newsletters, a web site and easier contact through our regional co-coordinators in Africa, Americas, the Pacific Region and South-East Asia. More needs to be done to keep our farmers in cocoa cultivation. However, to ensure cocoa cultivation is economic, the existence of an unfair balance has to be recognised. This balance weighs heavily on the grower, due to a combination of high pressure from pests and diseases coupled with low cocoa prices. We accept the challenge the former poses but seek awareness as to the importance of the latter. On behalf of INCOPED, I express our sincere thanks to the Malaysian Organisers of the l3~’ ICRC and our Regional Co-ordinator for preparing the ground for this 3rd Seminar.
Chairman of the International Group for Genetic Improvement of Cocoa (INGENIC)
Dear Mr. Hope Sona Ebai, Secretary General of the Cocoa Producers’ Alliance, dear Dr. Mohd Musa Md Jamil, Director General of the Malaysian Cocoa Board, dear Dr. Lee Ming Tong, Deputy Director General of the Malaysian Cocoa Board, dear Joao-Louis Pereira, Chairman of INCOPED, dear Mr. Kelvin Larnin, Chairman of INGENIC National Organising Committee, dear Dr. Bong Chui Lian, Chairperson of INCOPED National Organising Committee, and dear participants of the INCOPED Seminar and of the INGENIC Workshop.
It is a pleasure to welcome you here on behalf of the Local Organising Committee of the INGENIC workshop and on behalf of the INGENIC Board. It is a great pleasure for INGENIC that the organisation of the present Workshop could be done in close collaboration with INCOPED. We are very pleased with the large number of participants to both events, which shows the interest that these meetings have generated.
INGENIC was created at a meeting of cocoa geneticists during the jjth International Cocoa Research Conference of the Cocoa Producers’ Alliance in Yamrnoussukro, Cote d’lvoire, in 1993. The objective of INGENIC is to exchange information by publishing a Newsletter and by organising regular Workshops with specific themes. It also aims to promote further collaboration in the field of cocoa genetics. The first Workshop was held in 1994 in Kuala Lumpur, in conjunction with the Malaysian International Cocoa Conference. The theme was Cocoa Breeding Strategies >~. The second Workshop was held in 1996 in Salvador, Bahia, on the occasion of the 12th International Cocoa Research Conference. The theme was this time € Contribution of Disease Resistance to Cocoa Variety Improvement ~. That Workshop brought together cocoa geneticists as well as many pathologists. During the 1996 General Assembly of INGENIC the theme for the next Workshop was chosen to be << New Technologies and Cocoa Breeding >>, to be held in Malaysia. So that’s why we are here now.
The choice of the themes of these Workshops shows that cocoa breeding needs to be integrated with other disciplines for optimisation of results. For example, reliable disease resistance evaluation methods and use of early screening tests are becoming major features of new cocoa breeding activities. In fact, these new methods allow, for the first time, the development of pre-breeding programmes aimed at creation of populations with increased disease resistance.
With regard to the theme of the present Workshop, there is no doubt about its importance. New technologies in plant breeding are undergoing dramatic development. On one side, these technologies help to provide new insight into the genetic makeup of the cocoa species and inheritance of important traits, helping the cocoa breeder to decide on the choice of parents and selection methods to be used in breeding. On the other side, these technologies have potential to increase selection efficiency and to overcome production constraints that cannot be overcome by conventional methods. However, we should not forget that in the first place conventional cocoa breeding has to be strongly supported in order to be able to integrate these new technologies at all.
The objectives of the present Workshop are to analyse results, present data that can be of direct use to the cocoa breeders, to discuss applications of these methods in cocoa breeding, to analyse research gaps and discuss opportunities for collaborative research proposals.
One aspect of the International Cocoa Research Conference that deserves special attention is the session that took place about a u Global Cocoa Programme >. INGENIC wishes to be associated with this initiative as a force to identify research gaps and to propose new collaborative activities in the area of cocoa genetics and variety development. This theme will be discussed during the General Assembly this evening.
INGENIC is grateful for the support that many institutions contribute to the general operation of INGENIC as well as specifically to this Workshop. The list of supportive institutions, in alphabetical order, includes
- the American Cocoa Research Institute,
- the Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Alliance of the UK,
- the Centre for International Collaboration through Agronomic Research and Development, in France,
- the Cocoa Producers’ Alliance,
- Stiftung der Deutschen Kakao- und Schokoladenwirtschaft
- the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana,
- Cocoa Research Limited in the UK,
- the Cocoa Research Unit in Trinidad,
- the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange,
- the Malaysian Cocoa Board,
- Mars Incorporated, and
- the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development of the European Union, based in the Netherlands.
Special thanks go to the Cocoa Producers’ Alliance for allowing us to hold this meeting in conjunction with the 13th International Cocoa Conference and for distributing the announcement of the Workshop.
Special thanks go certainly to the Malaysian Cocoa Board for organising, for the second time, an INGENIC Workshop. From what we have experienced so far, this support would justify a proposal to be put forward at the General Assembly that all future INGENIC Workshops should be held in Malaysia! Thank you very much.
Hope Sona Ebai
Secretary General of the Cocoa Producers’ Alliance (CPA)
Your Excellencies, Honourable Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is indeed my pleasure, to address these few words of encouragement from the Cocoa Producers’ Alliance on this occasion of the concurrent opening of the Third International Seminar of INCOPED and Third INGENIC Workshop.
Cocoa culture today is rapidly expanding owing to the continuous increase in the consumption of this very nutritious product. But this delicious plant has quite a number of enemies and diseases to be protected against. Moreover, its growth has to be tied, and respond to an ever-increasing demand.
In most of the Producer Countries, the presence of serious cocoa diseases and pests constitute a real handicap for production and the cocoa economy in general. Witches’ broom and moniliasis in Latin America, the various strains of Phytophthora and minds in Africa, the cocoa-pod borer in South-East Asia are some real menaces to cocoa growing.
While combating the above problems, cocoa culture also faces a problem with its development within the context of increased land pressures. Higher productivity brought about by the use of early and high-producing varieties is needed.
The themes you have chosen for your deliberations are in this regard,of great pertinence. In effect, the INGENIC Workshop has set out as objective the analyses of the progress made in the domain of new technologies and their applicability towards the improvement of cocoa varieties. INCOPED, for its part, proposes to examine progress made towards integrated pest management and cocoa diseases, biological control and measures for quarantine in an attempt to manage these calamities in our Cocoa Producing Countries.
This is an attempt to describe the important role you play in the protection and preservation of the cocoa tree in an environment more and more hostile.
Very high, thus, are our hopes placed on your two Groups for the role of distancing us from these calamities and increasing the interest of our farmers in cocoa culture.
On behalf of the Alliance, I would like to express my gratitude to the organisers of these meetings from which we expect quite a bit, and wish you great success in the deliberations of the 3’d INGENIC Workshop and the 3~ International Seminar of INCOPED on pests and diseases of cocoa. I thank you for your kind attention.
Dr. Mohd Musa, Md Jamil
Director General of the Malaysian Cocoa Hoard (MCB)
- Mr. Sona Ebai, Secretary General of the Cocoa Producers Alliance,
- Dr. Bertus Eskes,
- President of the International Group for Genetic Improvement of Cocoa (INGENIC),
- Dr. Louis Pereira, Chairman of the International Permanent Working Group for Cocoa Pest and Disease (INCOPED),
- all participants of the INGENIC workshop and INCOPED seminar, ladies and gentlemen.
Let me, first of all, express my thanks to Dr. Eskes and Dr. Pereira for giving us the opportunity to organise this INGENIC workshop and this INCOPED seminar. I also wish to welcome all of you to Kota Kinabalu and look forward to your active participation in the workshop and seminar.
It is fortunate for cocoa that the crop protectionnists and breeders from all over the world are able to meet and discuss research and current issues of their particular disciplines. Certainly, the interaction of all the scientists and researchers in these two events will enhance current knowledge which will lead to the development of more appropriate technologies for cocoa production.
However, in implementing projects, we must ensure that the immediate outcome of the research will have a positive impact on our client: the cocoa farmers. Research findings should in one way or another be able to solve the current problems of our cocoa farmers.
Highly basic, fundamental and biological research utilising the most up-to-date techniques is good and fine. Sometimes this research is essential in understanding the real problems, as it provides basic biological information. We, however, should not forget about research results that can give direct answers to the existing problems of the farmers. Perhaps, pathologists, entomologists and breeders should interact with agronomists and physiologists to resolve more pressing problems of the cocoa farmers, for example those related to low cocoa prices. Hence, we have to emphasise high productivity, efficient use of inputs and lowering the cost of production. In fact, pest and disease management and breeding should place emphasis on resolving these problems.
I feel it will be useful if various research disciplines go together to formulate research projects addressing farmers’ current problems. With low cocoa prices, not only does damage and loss of yield through pest and disease have to be eliminated, but it also has to be done in the most economic way.
I remember during the early phase of cocoa development in Malaysia, that planning of cocoa research for production was relatively simple. We only needed to develop good and high yielding planting materials, which were resistant to vascular streak dieback. Coupled with good agronomic practices, we were able to increase Malaysian cocoa hectarage and production substantially. Research in cocoa fermentation also has improved Malaysian cocoa so as to achieve a wider acceptance.
Now, the problem is the unreasonably low cocoa price. Hence, we who are involved in cocoa research should consider this in our research planning. Otherwise, our work will be irrelevant to the farmers in the forefront of cocoa production systems. Finally, I wish all of you active and lively discussions in your workshop and seminar. Once again I thank Dr. Eskes and Dr. Pereira for auowing us to host these events. With their permission, I declare the INGENIC workshop and INCOPED seminar open.