Chocolate is the most popular sweet treat in the world. People around the world (but mostly in Europe and the United States) consume more than 3 million tons of cocoa beans a year, according to the World Cocoa Foundation. And, not only does eating chocolate make you feel good, it may also be good for your heart and your brain. Cocoa is the key ingredient in chocolate and chocolate confections.
What is this cocoa..?
The Latin name for cocoa is Theobroma literally means food of the gods. When consider the history cocoa played an important role in many ancient South American culture. The Olmecs (1500-400 BC) were the first humans to consume chocolate, originally in the form of a drink. They crushed the cocoa beans, mixed them with water and added spices, chilies and herbs.
Mayans used cocoa to create a ritual beverage that was shared during betrothal and marriage ceremonies, providing one of the first known links between chocolate and romance.
The production of cocoa begins in the tropical region around the Equator. When comes to the present time, 70% of the world’s cocoa beans come from West Africa. Especially Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. The Ivory Coast & Ghana are by far the two largest producers of cocoa. Together they cultivate more than half of the world’s cocoa.
But main thing is worldwide 90% of cocoa is grown on small family farms of two to five Hectares. Just 5% comes from large plantations of 40% Hectares or more.
Uses of cocoa
- Production of soft drinks and alcohol
- Production of cocoa butter
- Production of powder
- Production of cocoa liquor
- Production of soft soap
- Production of jam
- Use as fertilizer
- Use as an animal feed
Susceptible climate for cocoa plant
Cocoa plant required rainfall > 1650mm per annum but > 2750mm unsuitable because that amount of rainfall favorable to fungal diseases like pod rot.
Nearly 50% of shade necessary up to 3 years, but less shade later required to better establishment.
Deep; well drained; clay loam soil which rich with organic matter most suitable for cocoa plantation. Soil pH should be 5.0 – 6.5 Gravelly, sandy, shallow soils without hard pan or rocks unsuitable for cocoa plantation.
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