Authors: Nurafiza, A.

Journal Issue: Malaysian Cocoa Journal, Volume 13(1)/2021

Keywords: Theobroma cacao L., soils, growth performance, organic, compost

Published On: 1/11/2021


Main role of soil is to accelerate the function of plant roots and soil borne microbes and nutrients availability. Mainly functioning through the soils, nutrients in the soils might be the most important factor to affect the growth of plants and their phytochemical contents. Infertile soil may lead to high percentage of seedlings mortality and unhealthy seedlings. In standard nursery practices, soil media used is mainly soil without any other mixture. The research study was carried out in the nursery of Malaysian Cocoa Board Research and Development Centre, Sarawak from April to November, 2017. The cocoa seedlings were planted into three different soil composition (T1, T2 and T3) as shown at Table 1.0 under 50% light intensity shade. Approximately 243 cocoa seedlings of one-month grafted were used in this study. Three clones involved were MCBC 8, KKM 22 and APA 4. Mean height (cm) and diameter increment (mm) were recorded biweekly within eigth months study period. The field layout design was a randomized complete block designed (RCBD) with three replicates. Hence, this research study was conducted to determine the effect of different soil composition on cocoa seedlings growth performance at nursery stage. The combination of compost and sand does have significant effect on enhancing cocoa seedlings height by improving soil structure. Total diameter increments within eight months period (for all three clones) were only slightly different whereas T1 with 3.54±0.29mm, followed by T2 and T3 with 3.95±0.12mm and 3.95±0.16mm. The combination of top soil, GML, CIRP, organic compost and sand gave better growth performance of cocoa seedlings.

Malaysian Cocoa Journal

Volume 13(1)/2021

ISSN 1675-5650