Determination of Postharvest Pod Storage on Viability and Seedling Growth Performance of Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L) in the Nursery

  •  Joseph Saajah    
  •  Bonaventure Maalekuu    


This research was conducted to determine how cocoa pod storage affects seed viability, when stored in containers for a specific period. The objectives were to determine the maximum storage period for maximum seed viability, determine the ideal storage container for maximum germination and finally determine the superior growth performance of the seedlings obtained. The design was a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in a factorial arrangement involving two factors: storage period and storage container. This arrangement produced interactions between the two factors and increased precision due to “Hidden replication”. Podwere randomly drawn at 5 daily intervals and seed sowed to determine viability through sixteen (16) parameters, which included time to start and end germination, germination percentage, stem girth, canopy spread, shoot length and vigour index. The results generated from this experiment were in respect of interactions and simple effects of the two factors, on viability and seedling growth performance. Interaction effects were pronounced on five parameters which included time taken to start and end germination; vigour index; shoot height and leaf area. Germination speed and percentage were also significantly influenced by storage period. For growth parameters, superior performance (p<0.05), was obtained for variables such as leaves per plant, petiole length, internode length, within 1 day of harvest (DOH)-15 days after harvest (DAH) period. In respect of the type of container used for storage, internode length and dry matter accumulation were significantly influenced. Storage temperature and relative humidity did not affect the results. Pods stored from 1-15 DAH in basket, jute sack or fertilizer sack had maximum viability.

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