How to Do Cocoa Farming Business in Nigeria, and Anywhere Else.
Cocoa farming business provides one of the finest employment opportunities in Agribusiness. This is unconnected the increasing demand for cocoa seeds in the local and international market. You will come to realize, very soon, the many benefits of cocoa. Might be you already know. But briefly, what do you think is used to produce chocolates, confectionaries and beverages? Its cocoa! Of course, there will be no chocolate on the shelf without the cocoa seeds. Confectionery and Beverage making companies will exit of business enterprise if cocoa farmers stop farming.
You plant cocoa bushes once and harvest it throughout your entire lifetime and nevertheless pass it on to the future generations! That’s how serious and lucrative the business is!
Cocoa beans is one of the hottest agricultural product in the international market today. There is no doubt about that. If you have ever been to a cocoa farm, you will recognize how beautiful cocoa farm can be, but is that our business? No!
What’s our business here? To show you how to do cocoa farming business the proper way.
Setting Out Your Cocoa Farm – What You Need To Know
You begin by acquiring a huge expanse of forest land with suitable climate and appropriate rainfalls. Cocoa seedling could at time be very sensitive and can die off speedy if not treated with care.
The land you propose to use for your Cocoa farming business should be fertile, very fertile. The bushes need even temperatures among 21-23 degrees Celsius, with a steady rainfall of one thousand-2500mm per year
Get ideal and advanced cocoa variety from a reliable supply. Worldwide Institute for Tropical Agriculture can be a remarkable place to get a great variety of cocoa seedlings. Or if you don’t mind, you can simply get your cocoa seedlings from cocoa farms and vendors, but most recommendable, from professional cocoa farmers.
Clear the bush and plant your cocoa seedlings as the raining season sets in. A good time to plant cocoa is around April also can while the raining purpose is sincerely picking up.
Weather Conditions For Cocoa farming Business
Cocoa is produced in global locations in a belt between 10ºN and 10ºS of the Equator, wherein the weather is appropriate for growing cocoa plants. The biggest producing nations are Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia. Nigeria also prides in Cocoa Farming Business. So, you can equally get your cocoa seedlings here.
Cocoa flourishes more in the rainforest, and with optimum climatic elements, mainly temperature and rainfall, it can grow and produce at a very rapid rate.
The yield of cocoa trees from 12 months old to one year are greatly affected by the supply of rainfall than other climatic conditions. As such, rainfall needs to be ample and well distributed throughout the year. That is the more reason why planting it in the rain forest is highly recommended.
An annual rainfall degree of between 1,500mm and a couple of 2,000mm is most recommendable. Dry seasons, wherein rainfall is lots much less than 100mm per with month, ought to not exceed three months, if your cocoa must perform optimally
A humid environment is essential for the superior development of cocoa trees. In arid areas, relative humidity is normally excessive: frequently as a lot as 100% throughout the day, falling to 70-80% during the night time.
The cocoa tree does not like shades. However, shading is essential in a cocoa tree’s early years.
Cocoa farming Business – Soil Conditions and assets
Cocoa like a soil containing coarse particles and with a good quantity of vitamins, to a depth of 1.5m to allow the improvement of a its roots networks. Cocoa will withstand water logging for short durations, but keeping it waterlogged beyond that time is not encouraged. The soil should also have good water retention capacity and good drainage system.
The chemical compositions of the topsoil is most vital, as the plant has a massive network of roots for absorbing nutrients. Cocoa can develop in soils with a pH in the variety of 5.0-7.5. It can therefore cope with both acid and alkaline soils respectively, but immoderate acidity (pH 4.0 down) or alkalinity (pH 8.0 up) need to be prevented.
Cocoa is tolerant of acid soils, provided the nutrient content is well distributed. The soil need to have a good amount of organic matter: 3.5% in the top 15 centimeters of soil.
Soils for cocoa should have anionic and cationic balances too. Exchangeable bases in the soil should amount to at least 35% of the entire cation exchange capability (CEC). In any other case nutritional problems are possible. The maximum suitable overall nitrogen / ordinary phosphorus ratio must be around 1.5.
Appropriate Cocoa varieties
This variety ruled the marketplace until the center of the eighteenth century, however today only some, if any, natural Criollo timbers live.
Criollo is considered the high-quality of the low-priced cocoas. It has a mild mildly acidic and rarely bitter. It possesses a moderate cocoa taste with unique secondary aromas, nuts, caramel etc. Because the Criollo plant is greatly vulnerable to fungal disease attacks and different pests’ attacks, it produces smaller yields and its fruits are therefore greater costly.
This cocoa is taken into consideration the forefather of all cocoa types and grants very good harvests manner to its robustness. It accounts for some 80% of global cocoa cultivation and consumption.
Normal tendencies of Forastero are its powerful, lots less aromatic cocoa flavor that can sometimes be bitter or acidic. Again, it has a hard-physical appearance and not difficult to plant which accounts for its popularity in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.
The Trinitario Variety
This population are taken into consideration to belong to the Forasteros, despite the fact that they may have been descendants of Criollo and Forastero.
Trinitario planting commenced in Trinidad, moved to Venezuela and then to Ecuador, Cameroon, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Java and Papua New Guinea.
Trinitario combines the hardiness of consumer cocoa with the quality flavors of high priced cocoa. Trinitario cocoa has a powerful, aromatic cocoa flavor and is simplest slightly acidic.
Cocoa Breeding strategies
Cocoa is raised from seed. Seeds will germinate into Seedlings and the full-fletched plants. The seeds are extracted from the cocoa pods not more than 15 days after ti might have ripened.
Budding – A bud is cut from the Cocoa tree and positioned under a flap of bark per tree. The budding patch is then fitted with raffia and waxed tape of clean plastic. while the bud is growing, the vintage tree above it is trimmed.
Marcotting – A strip of bark is removed from a branch and the region included in sawdust and a polyethylene sheet. The area will produce roots which can then be chopped off and cultivated.