Category: cacao travels

USDA Cacao Germoplasm Collection in Puerto Rico

In April 2015, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit with Dr. Brian Irish, curator of the cacao collection for the USDA Tropical Agricultural Research Station (TARS) in Puerto Rico.  The TARS station is located in a beautiful old colonial mansion in the city of Mayaguez.  At the station they have a collection of over 230 varieties of cacao and collected a great deal of data about these varieties which is organized into an excellent database.  The online database is full of useful information about each variety, things like whether they are self compatible or not, susceptibiity to diseases etc.  While Dr. Irish is longer at the TARS station, this is an excellent place to visit for research purposes.  You can read more about the cacao germoplasm collection at TARS here: