Published November 27, 2023 | Version v1
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Effectiveness of Biostimulants as a sustainable solution for improving production of cocoa trees in Ecuador

  • 1. AgriTecno, Valencia, Spain
  • 2. Universidad Católica de Guayaquil, Guayaquil, Equator email address


Ecuador is one of the largest cocoa producers in the world with 138 -238 miles tons of production per year. The 600,000 hectares dedicated to cocoa cultivation are managed by smallholders who do not have access to advanced technologies to optimize their yields and require new solutions such as biostimulants. Biostimulants could be compared to food supplements for plants that have the ability to stimulate and optimize their metabolism and thus improve their growth and productive capacity. The objective of this experiment is to test the effectiveness of biostimulants on cocoa production. For this, we carried out an experiment applying biostimulants with the collaboration of Ángel Llerena Hidalgo, cocoa specialist from the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil in the area of Cerecita, Guayas, Equator. Randomized blocks design was used to test separately a radicular biostimulant, a foliar biostimulant, a biostimulant for optimizing flowering period and a a thesis combining the previousbiostimulants. The biostimulants were chosen based on their mode of action which was previously defined throughttranscriptomic and metabolomic studies performed in model crop soybean.. The obtained results showed that the plots treated with biostimulants produced significantly more flowers with a fold increase of flowers to 1.19, 2 and 3 for the root, foliar and flower biostimulants respectively and 1.84 for the combined program. Compared to controls (25,33), the production rate of pods was greater applying root biostimulant (28.67), foliar biostimulant (29.67), flower biostimulant (33,33) and combined program (29,33). Finally, application of root biostimulants increased tree production (per hectare) by 29%, foliar biostimulant by 34%, flowering biostimulant by 47% and combined program by 36%. This study shows the positive impact of biostimulant use on cocoa yield and demonstrates their potential for supporting farmers increasing their production and living conditions.

Keywords: Maximum 5 keywords; Biostimulant, Cocoa, Productivity, Trial


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