Agriculture16 Comments

Cocoa farming presents one of the best business opportunity in Agribusiness. The demand for cocoa seeds worldwide is extremely high and the price in international market is quite encouraging to farmers. You already know what cocoa is used for. There will be no chocolate on the shelf without the cocoa seeds. Confectionery and Beverage making companies will go out of business if cocoa farmers stops farming.

You plant cocoa trees once and harvest it throughout your lifetime and still pass it to the generation next! Cocoa beans is one of the hottest agricultural product in the market anywhere in the world. If you have ever been to cocoa farm, you would realize how beautiful cocoa farm can be, probably one of the best place to get closer to nature.

Setting Up Cocoa Farm

Locate a large expanse of forest land with the appropriate climate and suitable rainfalls. Cocoa seedling is very sensitive and can die off quickly if not handled properly. Under the forest canopy is the ideal place to plant cocoa. The land you intend to use for your cocoa farming must be covered by rain forest canopy.  The trees need even temperatures between 21-23 degrees Celsius, with a fairly constant rainfall of 1000-2500mm per year.

SEE ALSO: How To Start Start Cassava Farming And The Cultivating Techniques

Get good and improved cocoa variety from reliable source. International Institute for Tropical Agriculture will be a good place to get the cocoa variety with some advice. Or if you want to take the gamble, you just get the cocoa seeds directly from cocoa farm from an experienced cocoa farmers.

Clear the forest and plant the cocoa seeds at the beginning of raining season. Best period for planting cocoa is around April May when the raining reason is just picking up.

Climate Condition For Cocoa Farming

Cocoa is produced in countries in a belt between 10ºN and 10ºS of the Equator, where the climate is appropriate for growing cocoa trees. The largest producing countries are Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia.

The natural habitat of the cocoa tree is in the lower storey of the evergreen rainforest, and climatic factors, particularly temperature and rainfall, are important in encouraging optimum growth.

Cocoa plants respond well to relatively high temperatures, with a maximum annual average of 30 – 32ºC and a minimum average of 18 – 21ºC.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Lucrative Farming To Invest Into In Nigeria

Variations in the yield of cocoa trees from year to year are affected more by rainfall than by any other climatic factor. Trees are very
sensitive to a soil water deficiency. Rainfall should be plentiful and well distributed throughout the year. An annual rainfall level of between 1,500mm and 2,000mm is generally preferred. Dry spells, where rainfall is less than 100mm per month, should not exceed three months.

A hot and humid atmosphere is essential for the optimum development of cocoa trees. In cocoa producing countries, relative humidity is
generally high: often as much as 100% during the day, falling to 70-80% during the night.

The cocoa tree will make optimum use of any light available and traditionally has been grown under shade. Its natural environment is the
Amazonian forest which provides natural shade trees. Shading is indispensable in a cocoa tree’s early years.

Soil Condition And Property

Cocoa needs a soil containing coarse particles and with a reasonable quantity of nutrients, to a depth of 1.5m to allow the development of a good root system. Below that level it is desirable not to have impermeable material, so that excess water can drain away. Cocoa will
withstand waterlogging for short periods, but excess water should not linger. The cocoa tree is sensitive to a lack of water, so the soil must have both water retention properties and good drainage.

The chemical properties of the topsoil are most important, as the plant has a large number of roots for absorbing nutrients. Cocoa can
grow in soils with a pH in the range of 5.0-7.5. It can therefore cope with both acid and alkaline soil, but excessive acidity (pH 4.0 and
below) or alkalinity (pH 8.0 and above) must be avoided.

Cocoa is tolerant of acid soils, provided the nutrient content is high enough. The soil should also have a high content of organic matter: 3.5% in the top 15 centimetres of soil. Soils for cocoa must have certain anionic and cationic balances. Exchangeable bases in the soil should amount to at least 35% of the total cation exchange capacity (CEC), otherwise nutritional problems are likely. The optimum total nitrogen / total phosphorus ratio should be around 1.5.

Suitable Cocoa Varieties 

Criollos – This variety dominated the market until the middle of the eighteenth century, but today only a few, if any, pure Criollo trees remain.

Cocoa Seedling, Cocoa Farming Techniques

Cocoa Seedlings

Criollo is considered the finest of the luxury cocoas. Only mildly acidic and hardly bitter at all, it possesses a mild cocoa taste with distinctive secondary aromas and hints of nuts, caramel, forest fruits and tobacco. Because the Criollo plant is more susceptible to fungal disease and other pests, it produces smaller yields and its fruits are therefore more expensive.

Forastero – This cocoa is considered the forefather of all cocoa varieties and delivers very good harvests thanks to its robustness. It accounts for some 80% of global cocoa cultivation. Typical characteristics of Forastero are its powerful, less aromatic cocoa flavour that can in some cases be bitter or acidic. The back looks hard and rough and can be found easily in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.

The Trinitario – This populations are considered to belong to the Forasteros, although they are descended from a cross between Criollo and Forastero. Trinitario planting started in Trinidad, spread to Venezuela and then to Ecuador, Cameroon, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Java and Papua New Guinea.

Trinitario combines the hardiness of consumer cocoa with the pleasant flavours of luxury cocoa. Trinitario cocoa has a powerful, aromatic cocoa taste and is only slightly acidic.

Cocoa Breeding Methods

Cocoa is raised from seed. Seeds will germinate and produce good plants when taken from pods not more than 15 days underripe.

Cutting – Tree cuttings are taken with between two and five leaves and one or two buds. The leaves are cut in half and the cutting placed in a pot under polyethylene until roots begin to grow.

Budding – A bud is cut from a tree and placed under a flap of bark on another tree. The budding patch is then bound with raffia and waxed tape of clear plastic to prevent moisture loss. When the bud is growing, the old tree above it is cut off.

Marcotting – A strip of bark is removed from a branch and the area covered in sawdust and a polyethylene sheet. The area will produce roots and the branch can then be chopped off and planted.

SEE ALSO: The Investment Opportunity In Cocoa Production In Nigeria

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16 Comments

  • Ademola February 4, 2016

    Please, I need variety of mordern input to use on my 24 acres of cocoa farm in Nigeria. This farm was planted between 1992 to 1994. I want to sample this input on this farm to identify the profitability of this agro-business before venture into commercial scale. Please. Reply me through my email

  • Afolabi sunday February 17, 2016

    Please I need acres of land for cocoa farm I staying lagos am from osun state. I need your help concern this thank.

  • Taiwo April 18, 2016

    Please i need ur contact, My Family Cocoa farm is located in Osun State which we normally rent out after their death but i want to go back into dis Buz though i grew up there but u know every body wants to go to d City where we can have access to social amenities but i think i have to wait till d end of rent tenure in Jan. 2018 but i will start doing others like Egg, Ewedu, Efo and Maybe if i can get land for farming from my Husband Town in osun i will start that of Plantain and Banana then gather information on Cocoa b4 the rent expire. Any way, every thing work together for good because i’m now a graduate from Unilag DLI and i have gather experience from working in an Audit Firm and Work as an Account officer for 5yrs all the experience by God’s Grace will help me to succeed where my Parent failed by getting and searching for accurate information on how to do it Properly and technology wise. Thanks, i expect ur contact.

  • MosesOpafunso September 26, 2016

    Please i need your contact. I have gotten about seven hectares of land in Osun state for cocoa farming. can you help me to get new hybrids cocoa seedlings that matured within two to three years?
    Thanks.

  • Mr Sokoya August 2, 2017

    To avoid unnecessary headache, stress, loss of valuable time and funds, it is always important to get your cocoa seedlings from a reliable and dependable source.
    For your early matured and diseases resistance cocoa seedlings, kindly contact:
    Mr Sokoya
    Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture
    08123916545.
    Regards.

  • Ben August 14, 2017

    I just want to develop interest in cocoa farming but i don’t know how suitable it is using my compound which is not a rain forest required for the planting of cocoa. is there any variety that is good in that regards.

  • Gbolahan Olayiwola October 31, 2017

    For your early matured and diseases resistance cocoa seedlings, please contact:
    Mr Gbolahan in Ibadan
    Cocoa Farm Investment Ibadan
    08032581200
    Cheers!

  • Akeem November 3, 2017

    @ Taiwo, your parent did not fail, if they do you will not have a farm to rent out. Success is a relative term. Always watch the way you choose your words.

  • Ali Ahmed bamshamsy November 11, 2017

    I love agriculture organic.
    I tried to germinated many seeds of extremely rare fruits.
    And I tried to germinate cacao seeds but not germinate .
    And I have private company for imported fresh fruits trading.
    My company name is Ali Ahmed Omarbamshamsy group for wholesale and retail fresh fruits trading.

  • Okotbest frandhino March 21, 2018

    Iwanted to plant cocoa this year

  • Austin Igbineweka March 25, 2018

    Hallo Mr Family plesae i need your help cause i was to start Cocoa farm in Benin City.
    Pls i need your contcontact

  • Omenai Emmanuel June 10, 2018

    I would love to go into coco farming. I am a final year student in AAU, ekpoma. I have done a lot of online research about coco farming, but i feel i need an experience successful coco farmer to mentor me. I would love it if you could give me your contact. Thanks

  • Ola June 28, 2018

    Please reply to my mail i want to ask question on cocoa how much is 50kg and how many seed estimated to be in one kg and how many tree can be in 1 hectare please i need the answer as soon to my email please

  • Austin July 6, 2018

    I really would love to go into this business like real time. I stay in abuja but ready to move to osun or cross river to start up. Pls link me up with how to go about achieving my plans. How much really do i need to implement every single phase to the finish?

    Thanks.

  • Victoridow September 13, 2018

    Please, can I plant some vigorious varity of Cocoa Seed in nursery this time of September, which are to be transplanted in Early April-May?

    Or, for how long should I leave it in the nursery section?

  • Daniel September 21, 2018

    I very much desire to start up a Cocoa farm, please guide me on how to go about achieving my plans. How much really do i need to implement every single phase to the finish?
    Thanks.

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