In the monitoring process of the Cacao Forest Project’s Participatory Experimental Network (REP), in which the four agroforestry models developed jointly with Dominican cocoa producers are being trialled, adapted and compared to conventional models, plant mortality is a common phenomenon. Disease, pests, nutrient-poor soils, extreme weather events such as the tropical storms that frequently affect the island of Hispaniola, and also the severe droughts that occurred in 2019 and 2020 all take their toll, making life difficult for Dominican cocoa producers wishing to renovate or rehabilitate their plantations. The more vulnerable young plantlets are most at risk from these natural hazards.
Allowing for these limitations is an integral part of the REP’s scientific follow-up protocol and the Cacao Forest Project has promised the 23 producers taking part voluntarily in the experiment that it will systematically replace any plantlets affected.
Young cacao plant grafted with the variety RZ100 newly transplanted in the REP.
Following a detailed inventory of the mortalities occurring in the first half of 2021 in each of the REP’s 36 parcels, plant by plant over nine hectares, more than 4,500 grafted cacao plantlets were grown in a nursery and transplanted on the REP’s parcels between December 2021 and February 2022.