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The Plant Breeding Division of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana is responsible for developing improved varieties of cocoa, coffee, kola, cashew and shea for cultivation by farmers. The Division ensures that developed varieties are able to establish well, and provide economic yields within the defined growing regions for each crop. Each developed variety is thoroughly tested for industrial processing quality prior to its release for cultivation.

The current research activities of the Division include:
  • Testing of cocoa clones obtained from populations that have previously been under-utilised in breeding as parents for developing high-yielding varieties.
  • Development of cocoa clones with high yield and resistance to insect pests and diseases.
  • Development of cocoa 'hybrid' varieties that are easy to establish, early bearing, have high bean yields and tolerant to the major diseases and insect pests.
  • Multi-location, on-farm evaluation of recently developed cocoa hybrid varieties for ease of establishment and bean yield.
  • Demonstration of the economic potential of the cultivation of fine-flavour cocoa varieties in Ghana.
  • Development of seed planting material of robusta coffee for drought and nutritional stress and non-stress environments.
  • Characterization, evaluation, and conservation of local and introduced robusta coffee germplasm
  • Development of high yielding clones of kola using local and exotic germplasm
  • Determination of the appropriate age of rootstock on the success of grafting in kola
  • Assessment of compatibility among high yielding kola clones
  • Development of kola 'hybrid' varieties that are easy to establish, early bearing, and have high nut yields.
  • Development and multi-location testing of high yielding cashew varieties
  • Productivity mapping of previously released cashew clonal varieties
  • Development of in-vitro propagation techniques for shea