Published November 28, 2023 | Version v1
Publication Open

Rootstocks: A key tool in adapting to climate change

  • 1. Fedecacao-FNC, San Vicente de Chucurí, Colombia
  • 2. Fedecacao-FNC, San Vicente de Chucurí, Colombia,
  • 3. Fedecacao-FNC, Bogotá, Colombia,
  • 4. Fedecacao-FNC, Bogotá, Colombia,


Cocoa cultivation currently faces scenarios that compromise the sustainability of the crop, both agronomically and commercially, a determining factor is climate change, which can provide conditions such as a higher incidence of pests and diseases, climatic disorders, among others. In Colombia, the productive chain has been growing in response to national policies, in this sense, during the year 2021 Colombia obtained a production of 69,040 tons, thus achieving a record production figure; Colombian cocoa has been recognized by the ICCO as fine flavor and aroma cocoa.

However, the high demand imposes the need to constantly face challenges in terms of material handling, selection of new genotypes with favorable attributes in terms of production, health, adaptation, evaluation of rootstock materials, evaluation of abiotic factors that limit the agricultural production and can generate negative effects on growth, productivity, and can cause damage to cell walls and membranes, stressing the root, restricting the absorption of water and nutrients, such as: drought, salinity, pH, high and low temperatures.

Given this background, the National Federation of Cocoa Growers, with resources from the National Cocoa Fund through the Research Program, has been working on the search for new rootstock materials tolerant to water deficit that help genetic improvement and contribute to the expansion and conservation of the genetic basis of cocoa. This is how the evaluation of materials began, where from an initial preliminary selection, 4 materials were prioritized, which demonstrated adaptation to abiotic stress conditions, water deficit.

Different patterns of water stress tolerance were identified between the evaluated rootstocks, however, FSV80 showed better tolerance levels to drought and a high adaptability to different water availability conditions. IMC67, FSA20, FSV80 showed the best adaptation and tolerance to water excess suggesting a potential use in soils exposed to water excess or flooding risks. Observed results could be used as an orientative resource for farmers, however, they must be correlated into the field and under different conditions like altitude, temperature, etc. The presented results represent an approach for adaptation and mitigation of the climate change effects, to ensure and Smart-climate agricultura, climatic resilience and food safety.

Keywords: Rootstocks, Fedecacao, water availability, dryness tolerance.


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