Tectopore trials: Less cadmium and more productivity in cocoa cultivation
International markets, particularly the European one, demand minimum levels of cadmium, present in some types of soils in Ecuador, due to the possible health impacts of the heavy metal. We can overcome this health restriction with the use of our products, helping to consolidate Ecuador’s place among the top cocoa producers and exporters in the region and the world.
To verify this, in this ongoing study we conducted a trial on two cocoa farms, in the area of Puerto Inca and Balao Chico, using Tectocarbon’s technology with its product Tectopore Pure. The objective was to incorporate it into the soil to evaluate the reduction of cadmium content in the kernel and in the soil, as well as to evaluate the increase in productivity in the lots tested. It should be noted that biochar (or biocarbon) obtained from hardwoods such as teak, revitalises soils and retains carbon with fundamental effects for agricultural production of all kinds.
The hypothesis of this research is based on cutting the cadmium cycle in plants from leaf litter, through the absorption of Tectopore Pure within its negatively charged porous matrix. At the same time, an increase in soil pH is generated to reduce cadmium uptake by the plants.
To measure the reduction of the heavy metal in the kernel, laboratory analyses are carried out quarterly for one consecutive year. In the case of the soil, an analysis was made prior to the application of Tectopore and will be measured at the end of the trial.
Productivity is monitored every three weeks after harvest for one consecutive year. Productivity data so far has been collected for eight months.
Application methodology of the three applications
The trials are carried out by evaluating three forms of application and a single dose.
I. Cadmium mitigation results
These tables show the analyses of cadmium in almonds over three quarters for each treatment. For the evaluation, eight cobs of each treatment are taken every three months.
Cadmium analysis on farm 1
At Hacienda Cañas, the trend in the analysis of cadmium in the almonds continues to decrease in TR2 and TR3. In the last measurement of the control, it also decreased. T3 has an index lower than 1.
Cadmium analysis on farm 2
On the San Fernando farm, in the three treatments, there has been a continuous reduction of cadmium in the cobs and the index is less than 1.
Results of measurements of cadmium content in the kernel on farm 1
Results of measurements of cadmium content in kernel on farm 2
II. Productivity analysis
The following tables show the number of pounds per treatment, number of cobs harvested and average slug weight per treatment on both farms. So far, the preliminary conclusion is that TR2 and TR3 show higher productivity. In addition, TR3 has a higher weight per cob than the control.