NUTRA NEWS: Alethea impact on cocoa crops

Plant Impact’s Alethea anti-stress chemistry is achieving remarkable results in independent field trials managed by CABI Bioscience. Alethea is a new technology geared to solving the problems of abiotic (climatic) stress.

Alethea enhances the crop’s ability to mop-up damaging reactive oxygen species and ammonia (accumulated during abiotic stress), without degrading the cell walls. Stronger health cells will help reduce the possibility of disease ingress.

Alethea generates improved resistance to abiotic stress and allows crops to grow in conditions where normally, growth would be reduced. It enhances crop growth and also improves the quality of the produce.

Climatic stress is a major problem, which limits the ability of the world’s crops to produce optimum yields caused by growing conditions and physiographic factors, which restrict plant growth and survival. Drought, temperature extremes, wind, salinity, heavy metals and poor soil nutrition are all significant causes. Also, plants that grow under stress conditions are more susceptible to disease.

CABI Bioscience is carrying out independent trials with cocoa crops in Costa Rica. Cocoa is a difficult crop to grow. The cocoa trials, which are now entering a third season, are measuring the performance of Alethea chemistry and PiNT Calcium. PiNT Calcium is a unique controlled release nitrogen/calcium fertiliser for improved quality, yield, root promotion and stress tolerance. The main benefits are strong healthy root systems, increased disease resistance and increased productive life of the crop.

The first year’s results showed a 50% reduction in Black Pod disease – a disease that is largely uncontrollable and one that causes significant crop damage. In each successive season the Alethea/PiNT Calcium combination generated an enlarged number of healthy pods, and there was a significant yield increase of over 55% for total, dry cocoa weight. There was also a substantial beneficial increase in the calcium content in cocoa seeds. Dr Brian Pettit, who was CABI’s former business development director commented,“Inherently non-toxic and ecologically sound, the products should offer interesting and exciting options for the industry.


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