Production Technology of Cocoa

Production Technology of Cocoa

Botanical Name: Theobroma cacao

Family: Sterauliaceae


The word Cacao is often used for the tree and its parts whereas the word ‘Cocoa’ for the product of manufacture.  In this account, the word ‘Cocoa’ is used throughout both for tree and its products.

It is most nutritious of all beverages has been cultivated since ancient time in Central America from Mexico to the Southern Costa Rican border for over 2000 years. It was first introduced into India in 1796.

Area and Production

West Africa is leading country in Cocoa trade. For last 40 years, Chana, Ivory coast, French Cameroon and Nigeria contribute 84% of the world production.

Ghana 36%   America 33%, Rest of Africa 30%, Other I %

In India, cocoa is grown in a small area of about 17600 hectares in Arecanut and coconut gardens in scattered holdings of Southern States of Tamil Nadu and Keraly. 7000 tones of Cocoa beans are produced. The Hindu Survey of Indian Agriculture, State wise area and Production is as shown below.

Sr. No,


Area (ha)

Production (Tonnes)









3   .

Tamil Nadu







Climate and Soil:

It is strictly tropical crop and cultivation restricted in 20°N and South of latitude, grows at low elevation i.e. below 1000 feet. However, can be cultivated. upto 4000 feet in Venezula and upto 3000 feet in Colombia.

The optimum temp range is 15 to 25°C and rainfall requirement is 1000 to 2500 mm and should be well distributed, grows under dense shade.

Cocoa requires well drained sols with good crumb structure and adequate, supply of water and nutrients. The best soils are clays or loams of sandy loams. The optimum pH is around 6.5.


Progagated both by-seeds and by vegetative means. Seed propagation chapest. The pulp adhering to the seed is removed by treating the seed with earth, ash or lime. Seeds are sown individually in polythene bags or can be grown in nursery beds with natural or articicial shade. Seeds sown soon after extraction.  Seedlings are ready for transplanting when they attain height of 60

Vegetative Propagation:

Cocoa can be propagated vegetatively by cutting, budding and grafting. Cutting of 15 cm length bearing 4 terminal leaves were treated with NNA + IBA dip and planted in polybags, rooting of 60 to 70% reported after one month. Cutting 2 to 4 cm long with one or two leaves treated with IBA and planted in medium of rotton palm fiber and coarse river sand in equal part gave 90 to 100% rooting.

Inarchaing in Cocoa Was highly successful 70 to 100% at Kalian and Burliar Fruit. Research Station. Saddle and wedge grafting of leaf bearing shoot is also possible.


Usually planted at 3.5×3.5m. The spacing will depend upon the environmental conditions and cultivar grown. Closer spacing gives higher yield in early years and also provides a quicker closed canopy. Closer spacing of 2.7×2.7m gives higher yield than 3.5×3.5m. as seen by the spacing trials in Trinided. In Shrilanka and Newguiriea usually spacing of 5x5M is kept In India, Cocoa is generally planted in the coconut and arecanut gardens. In arecanut garden, a spacing of 2.7×5.4M and in coconut gardens at 7.5×7.5M, thus accommodating about 550-650 cocoa trees either in coconut or arecanut garden.


Cocoa is grown under shade which would have a a good canopy of foliage. At the Kallar fruit Research Station. It was observed from the studies conducted for 15 years that banana was found to be better that papaya as a primay shade in the early years of plantation. Of the permanent shade trees. Glyricidia was found to be superior over   Indigofara.
A cumulative yield of 293 pods per tree was recorded by cocoa trees under feajiana as primary shade and glyrieidia as secondary whereas 262 pods/tree were recorded under the treatment banana as primary shade and:indigofera as secondary shade.


10 kg organic manure, 100 g N, 40 g P2Os and 140 K?0 per plant per year is the recommended dose of fertilizers, fertilizers are applied in two equal split doses, one in April May alongwith organic manures and other in Aug.-Sept full dose of .organic manure is applied from first year itself. However the fertilizers are applied in graded doses i-.e, l/3rd dose in first year, 2/3rd.i and full dose from 3rd year;


Cocoa grown in a series of stories, when the first Jrquette develops at a height of about 1.5 M of canopy forms a convenient height for rfarvestiiig as well as for plant protection. The tree height can be confined to this level by periodical removal of Chupo s. However, it is desirable to develop one more by allowing a healthy Chupon for obtaining higher yields.


Young cocoa plantation is irrigated regularly at an interval of 3-4 days ; during summer months.


Bearing starts from 2nd year onward. Pods mature in about 5 to 6 months. Two crops, are there, first from Oct.-Jan and 2nd from April-June. The ripen pods are harvested without causing injury to cushions from which they are developed. This is necessary as flowers are produced again from these "Cushions"; The pods are opened by heating on a Hard surface or using a mallet. Knife is not used as it may cut the beans inside. The beans are scooped out from the pod. To. get 1 kg of dry cocoa beans about 15 to 30 pods are-required-.


The average yield of cocoa in Trinidad is 200 kg/ha from seedling progenies. From selected cuttings, yield of 600 to 1000 kg/ha dried bean may be obtained. Hybrid seedlings of Trinitario may yield over 2000 kg/ha. Well care plantation have yielded above 3000 kg of beam/ha.

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