Cocoa Farming Techniques

Cocoa farming carry one of the ogbonge business opportunity for Agri business. The demand wey dey for cocoa seed for obodo the world dey for the high side and the price for international market dey quite encouraging to farmers. You don already know wetin we dey use cocoa do, abi you no know? We no go get chocolate on top our shelf if to sey we no get coaco seeds. Dem company wey dey make Confectionery and Beverage (tea)no go get anything wey dem go dey do if  cocoa farmers dem stop farming.

Na only one time you go plant am but na forever you go dey harvest am you go even carry am give your pikin pikin! Cocoa beans na one of the hottest agricultural product for market anywhere for obodo the world. If you don go cocoa farm before, you go see sey na one of the ogbonge place wey you fit work and wey you go get close to nature.

Setting Up Cocoa Farm
Cocoa Pods dey better for large expanse of forest land with the right climate and suitable rainfalls. Cocoa seedling dey very sensitive and e fit die off quick quick if dem no handle am properly. Under the forest canopy na the better place wey person fit plant cocoa. The land wey you want  use for your cocoa farming must dey covered by rain forest canopy.The trees dem need even temperatures between 21-23 degrees Celsius, with a fairly constant rainfall of 1000-2500mm for every year.

Make you get better cocoa variety from reliable source. International Institute for Tropical Agriculture go be one better place wey you fit get the cocoa variety with some advices. Or if you wan gamble, you fit just get the cocoa seeds directly from cocoa farm from experience cocoa farmers.

Make you clear the forest and den come plant the cocoa seeds for the beginning of raining season. The ogbonge period wey good for planting cocoa na around April/May when raining season just dey start.

Climate Condition For Cocoa Farming
Cocoa dey produce for countries wey dey between 10ºN and 10ºS of the Equator. The largest producing countries na Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia.

Cocoa plants dey respond well well to high temperatures, with highest annual average of 30 – 32ºC and lowest average of 18 – 21ºC.

Variations for the yield of cocoa trees from year to year dey affected more by rainfall pass any other climatic factor. Trees dem dey very sensitive to a soil water deficiency. Na make Rainfall dey plenty and well distributed through the year. An annual rainfall level of between 1,500mm and 2,000mm dey generally preferred.

Hot and humid atmosphere dey essential for the development of cocoa trees. For cocoa producing countries, relative humidity dey generally high: sometimes na as much as 100% during the day, falling to 70-80% during the night.

The cocoa tree go make optimum use of any light wey dey available and traditionally don dey grown under shade. Em natural environment na the Amazonian forest wey dey provide natural shade trees. Shading dey indispensable for the early years of cocoa tree’s.

Soil Condition And Property
Cocoa dem dey need soil wey contain coarse particles and with good quantity of nutrients, to a depth of 1.5m wey go allow the root develop well. Below that level e dey desirable make e get impermeable material, so that excess water go fit drain off. Cocoa go fit withstand waterlogging for short periods, but make excess water no linger. The cocoa tree dey sensitive to lack of water, so the soil must get both weting go hold water and weting go drain water.

The chemical properties for the topsoil dey very important, as the plant get plenty number of roots wey dey absorb nutrients. Cocoa fit grow for soils wey get pH for the range of 5.0-7.5. E go fit cope with both acid and alkaline soil, but excessive acidity (pH 4.0 and below) or alkalinity (pH 8.0 and above) must dey avoided. Cocoa na tolerant of acid soils, provided sey the nutrient content dey high enough. Make the soil sef get high content of organic matter: 3.5% for the top 15 centimetres of soil. Soils for cocoa must to get certain anionic and cationic balances. Exchangeable bases for the soil most to reach at least 35% of the total cation exchange capacity (CEC), otherwise nutritional problems dey likely. The optimum total nitrogen/total phosphorus ratio should be around 1.5.

Suitable Cocoa Varieties
Criollos – This variety na em dominate  market until the middle of the eighteenth century, but today na only few, if any, pure Criollo trees dem remain.

Cocoa Seedling
Criollo na the one wey dey considered the finest of the luxury cocoas. Only mildly acidic and hardly bitter at all, e possess mild cocoa taste with distinctive secondary aromas and hints of nuts, caramel, forest fruits and tobacco. Because the Criollo plant dey more susceptible to fungal disease and other pests, e dey produce smaller yields and em fruits dem dey more expensive.

Forastero – This cocoa dey considered as the forefather of all cocoa varieties and e dey deliver very good harvests thanks to em robustness. The characteristics wey Forastero get b sey e dey powerful,get less aromatic cocoa flavour wey fit dey bitter or acidic for some cases. The back dem look hard and rough and fit find am easily for Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.

The Trinitario – This ones dem belong to the Forasteros, even though dem be descendant from a cross between Criollo and Forastero. Trinitario planting begin for Trinidad, come carry waka go Venezuela then go Ecuador, Cameroon, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Java and Papua New Guinea.

Trinitario carry together the hardness of consumer cocoa with the pleasant flavours of luxury cocoa. Trinitario cocoa get powerful, aromatic cocoa taste and na only tintini acidic.

Cocoa Breeding Methods
Cocoa dey raise from seed. Seeds go germinate come produce good plants.

Cutting – You go cut the leaves into two, and then you go put am inside pot; under polyethylene until roots begin to grow.

Budding – Bud dey cut from tree come dey placed under a flap of bark ontop another tree. The budding patch come dey bound with raffia and waxed tape of clear plastic to take prevent moisture loss. When the bud dey grow, the old tree wey dey above am go dey cut off.

Marcotting – A strip of bark dey removed from a branch and the area dey covered with saw dust and a polyethylene sheet. The area go produce roots and the branch go come dey chopped off and planted.

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