The Bhola Method: A novel approach to the mass production of propagules of Theobroma cacao L. (47)
Keywords:cocoa, propagation, grafting, dieback, side-grafting
AbstractAn optimised, highly efficient method of side-grafting on very young cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) seedlings (2-5 weeks old) is presented here. A series of evaluations was done in an attempt to solve a very serious dieback problem on such grafts, then to optimise the technique on even younger cacao seedlings. The proposed method was used in a series of evaluations, the first set of which are reported in this paper. The method includes the use of a special chamber (Cover 10) for the incubation of multiple grafts. The method is rapid, simple, and safe. It minimises problems with the usual challenge of slimy mucilage and improves the survival of grafts on otherwise difficult-to-propagate accessions. Preliminary results indicate that the method is reproducible, highly efficient and guarantees very favourable success rates. The method presents solutions to some other problems (specifically dieback issues) and provides a foundation for further investigations, developments and other propagation modifications.