CocoaSoils, a global program developing Integrated Soil Fertility Management options to increase cocoa productivity, has released the 3-year (2021-2023) cocoa yield data from its 241 Satellite Trials in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon.

The Satellite Trials are situated in existing cocoa plantations and managed by farmers to test different fertilizer combinations and shade interactions to examine the effects on yield under field conditions.

Making the data public underscores the project’s commitment to FAIR principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability of data.

Dr Arun Pratihast, Sr., the project’s data scientist, said the decision to make the data public ensures
that researchers and partner organizations access and utilize the data to promote innovation in their

“Partners can utilize the data and graphs to make data-driven decisions, enhancing their strategies and

Dr Leonard Rusinamhodzi, the project’s  Research for Development  Lead, said:

I am excited that this platform confirms significant progress towards providing science-based and data-driven agronomy solutions. The summaries clearly show proof of the STEPWISE approach towards implementing good agronomy practices (GAPs) and improved fertilizer recommendations based on the 4Rs (source, rate, time, place) of nutrient stewardship. We are committed to regularly updating and improving based on user feedback and suggestions.

Professor Ken Giller of Wageningen University & Research said:

“I’m delighted to see this data being released. The data is a ‘proof-of-concept’ that better-targeted nutrient additions and good crop management can improve cocoa production. The results also underscore some important differences in cocoa productivity among the four West African countries where we are working through CocoaSoils. We have several more detailed analyses ongoing based on this data, which the project will share over the coming months.”

Researchers and organisations can access the data via the dedicated  open data platform:

CocoaSoils is developing Integrated Soil Fertility Management options for cocoa to fill an important
knowledge gap towards increasing cocoa productivity without engaging in deforestation. The project
will leverage the Stepwise Investment Pathway, which outlines the necessary steps needed to achieve
best management practices (BMPs). Each investment step is placed along the pathway such that it
attains, for the lowest investment, the highest return and forms the basis for a high return of the
following investment step. Criteria to determine the hierarchical sequence of management practices are
carefully crafted into the app, helping farmers achieve low-risk investment into climate-smart cocoa
The projects’ two field trials, commonly referred to as Core Trials (CT) and Satellite Trials (ST), are being
managed in collaboration with national research institutes and private sector partners. Currently, 11 CTs
are being implemented in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Ecuador, and Indonesia. The design
for the CTs are factorial combinations of N, P, K plus Ca, Mg, and micronutrients on a single field
measuring at least 2 ha. The design for the STs is an additive approach of four plots (T1-T4) representing
increased intensities of management on 389 cocoa plantations across Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire,
Ghana, and Nigeria. The experimental plots in the ST measure 21 m × 21 m. The T1 (control) is managed
by the participating farmer, while T2 entails applying all the GAPs, except fertilizer application. T3
includes all GAPs as in T2, plus the application of the nationally recommended fertilizer in Ghana
(GAP+NF). In T4, GAPs are applied plus fertilizer based on the estimation by an OF, which calculates the
nutrient requirements of the cocoa trees using nutrient uptake data and allometric relations from
empirical measurements (GAP+OF).