The International Cocoa Genebank, Trinidad (ICGT) is one of the world’s most diverse, public collections of cocoa plant material, and was designated a Universal Collection by Bioversity International (Formerly IPGRI - International Plant Genetic Resources Institute). In the past, access to this plant material by international scientists was pivotal in supporting many global cocoa breeding programmes. Today, the collection continues to support the cocoa industry, in a future of uncertainty in food security and climate change.

The International Cocoa Genebank is currently situated on an ~100 acre site at Centeno, along the internal corridor of the Caribbean Island of Trinidad, located just off the north west coast of Venezuela. The establishment of the collection began in 1982 by consolidating earlier collections of cacao from several sites in Trinidad. These included:

  • the 100 Imperial College Selections (ICS) derived in an survey of Trinidad and Tobago by by F.J. Pound (1930 and 1935)
  • selections from Marper Farm, also established by Pound following his expeditions to the Upper Amazon  (1937 to 1942)
  • other national collections.

Trees in the ICGT were propagated as rooted cuttings and by 1994, over 2,000 different types had been planted. From the inception of cocoa research in Trinidad and Tobago, the task of assembling the ICGT has spanned over sixty years of virtually continuous effort. For more information on the genetic resources of the ICGT, please visit the International Cocoa Germplasm Database.

Tours are of the genebank are also available. Please review  Our Genebank Tours page for more information.

For further details, please call CRC office at 662-8788 or send us an email. Tours must be booked at least three weeks in advance to allow staff to prepare.

Species at the Genebank

Theobroma cacao

Theobroma grandiflorum

Theobroma speciosum

Theobroma microcarpum

Theobroma obovatum
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