In this article, we are going to see how to start a Cocoa Cultivation in India in 8 simple steps.
Chocolates are one of the best creations of men ever. Cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, has a history that goes back 5,300 years. It was called the food of the gods and was used as currency. Today, more than 70% of cocoa is grown in West Africa.
Important Cocoa Varieties
The most important varieties grown are Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario.They differ from each other in their flavor and aroma profile. These types of cocoa trees are typically grown in different regions across the world. The Forastero and Criollo Varieties of plants take a bit more time than the Trinitario Variety. The trinitario varieties are the most preferred as they start fruit production in 3 years time and some a bit lesser.
Kerala is the leading producer of cocoa in India, while Karnataka is the second. Cocoa products from both regions are ranked among the top five globally and contribute to approximately 35% of India’s total exports. Cocoa cultivation and harvesting in the Indian States of Jharkhand and Assam is slowly increasing.
A major part of India’s cocoa production is exported to countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Belgium. They mainly cater to markets where natural chocolate without any added ingredients are preferred. The Indian cocoa industry has been able to withstand competition
Cocoa Cultivation Steps
Cocoa cultivation is a process that starts with the planting of cocoa seeds and ends with the harvesting of cocoa beans.
1) The first step in the process is to select a fertile land for planting.
2) The land should be in an area that has a temperature range of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
3) The soil should also be rich in organic matter and contain adequate drainage.
4) The next step is to plant the cocoa seeds about 2 inches deep, spacing them about 6 feet apart from each other, and then cover them up with soil.
5) Cocoa trees need to be planted at least 10 feet apart from each other to allow for proper air circulation around them.
6) Once planted, water the trees regularly during dry periods or if it does not rain for two weeks or more.
7) To ensure that they grow well, make sure to fertilize them with manure or compost once every year or two years depending on how much fertilizer they need.
8) After 8-10 years of growth, harvest the cocoa beans by cutting some of the cocoa trees.Cocoa beans are harvested every year or every two years depending on the amount of fertilizer applied to the plant, and they are collected manually by cutting off branches with a sharp knife.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article on how to start a Cocoa Cultivation in India.