Aligning genetic resources, production and postharvest systems to market opportunities for Pacific island and Australian cocoa

Background and objectives

Cocoa is an important agricultural export of South Pacific countries, providing livelihoods for some 30,000 households in Papua New Guinea, 13,000 households in Solomon Islands and 8,700 households in Vanuatu (between one-fifth and one-third of the population in these countries). Significant domestic or potentially useful export industries also exist in Samoa and Fiji. Some 310,000 people are estimated to be directly involved in cocoa production.

This project will build on past work by adopting a “whole of chain” approach, focused on specific market needs and opportunities: evaluating and disseminating appropriate genetic resources, raising agronomic productivity, and developing and encouraging the uptake of best practice in fermentation and drying to optimise cocoa quality.

Based on previous work and going forward within the framework of the new phase of the Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative program (PARDI II), the aim of this project is to strengthen cocoa value chains in the South Pacific islands (Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) and Australia. The research strategy draws on expertise available in Papua New Guinea and complements ongoing work there, but focusing on the smaller Pacific islands.

Project partners

Collaborating institutions:


Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR Project HORT/2014/078), 2016-2021


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