Participatory on-farm research (POR), Bolivia

Participatory On-farm Research (POR) activities are the second project component. The objective is to develop locally adapted solutions for organic agroforestry in cooperation with farmers using participatory approaches and socio economic studies. The topics to be addressed by POR trials were identified at farmers’ meetings.

Current topics in POR research:
Cocoa variety testing

•    Cocoa variety testing on-farm (completed)
•    Cacao cultivar evaluation and participatory elite tree selection (on-going)
•    Clonal gardens on-site and on-farm (on-going)

Cacao nacional Boliviano (CNB)

•    Cacao nacional Boliviano (CNB) production systems trial, demonstration plots and clonal garden, including interaction of rootstocks with grafted materials. (ongoing)

Organic pest and disease management

•    Evaluation of best farmers practises for cocoa management (completed)
•    Pest and disease control: biological control agents against cocoa mirids, investigating ideal removal frequency of infected pods to prevent spreading of Monilia (completed)

Best practices for organic cocoa agroforestry systems

•    Document practice of outstanding farmers achieving high yield levels. (completed)
•    Demos plots of successional agroforestry systems (SAFS) of different ages (on-going)
•    Management of by-crops: banana planting and management trial, ginger planting trial (on-going)
•    Evaluating value of timber trees in farmers agroforestry systems (completed)
•    Best farmer practises: Pruning timber and agroforestry trees in cacao plantations (on-going)
•    Socio-economic study of cocoa producers in Alto Beni (completed)
•    Starter cultures to increase cocoa bean quality with ZHAW  (completed)