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Did you know? On average, there is less than 1 flower will successfully bear cocoa fruit from 100 cacao flowers! For solving this problem, TSIPS established the cocoa pollination technology to improve the pollination success rate of cocoa flowers more effectively. It will increase the yield of cocoa trees and increase the income of farmers.
TSIPS said, cocoa is one of the emerging crops in the Pingtung area. There are about 52 hectares of planted area in Pingtung. However, the success rate of natural pollination is low, which often results in uneven distribution of cocoa fruit parts and local fruitlessness.
TSIPS also said, cocoa is an insect-pollinated flower. After pollinating insects stick to cocoa pollen, they shuttle between cocoa flowers and spread the pollen to other flowers to complete pollination. In addition to midges as the possible pollinating insects of cocoa trees, ants and dipteran insects are also common flower visitors of cocoa flowers by research reports.There are about 6,000 flowers bloom in 1 cacao tree every year. In Taiwan, only about 3-6% of the flowers can be successfully pollinated, and only about 10-30% of these pollinated flowers can successfully bear cocoa fruit. Using the pollination technology established by TSIPS for cocoa pollination, the success rate of flower pollination can be increased to 40-50%. And if selection of pollination locations, it will increase the cocoa yield to 1.5 to 2 times.
In recent years, the special production system of "from trees to chocolate" in Taiwan is different from many temperate countries making fine chocolates of “from beans to bar”, making the Pingtung cocoa industry has gradually gain fame at home and abroad. To make the best better, through the pollination technology established by TSIPS, the cocoa yield per unit area is increased, making “Taiwan chocolate” more powerful in the international chocolate market.
▲Fig. 1. Cocoa is hermaphroditic flower. The stamens are wrapped in the petal sacs, and the anthers are located at the top of the stamens and contain pollen. When pollinating, take the anthers with fresh pollen and stick the pollen on the stigma.
▲Fig. 2. Fruit development after pollination. The picture shows 8 days, 21 days and 69 days after successful pollination.
Assistant Researcher, TSIPS
Interim Deputy Director Researcher, TSIPS