Cocoa,Chocolate tree

Theobroma cacao



General Information :

  • It is a small tree.

Distribution :

Brazil, Mexico, United States of America ,Belize, Cameroon, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominica, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Madagascar, Malaysia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, , Sri Lanka,

Habitat : Humid Tropics

Soil : Cocoa trees can be grown wide range of soils. Cocoa trees are predominantly cultivated in red lateritic soils. These trees prefer well-drained sandy loam soil.

Soil pH : 6 to 7

Altitude :Up to 1500 m(MSL)

Rainfall :1000-3000 mm

Temperature : Up to 26° C

Terrain : Plain /Hilly region

Tree Characteristics :
  • Drought and Frost Sensitive and Shade demander.

Habit : Deciduous forest

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

  • Cocoa can be propagated by seeds.

Artificial Regeneration :

  • Its propagated Grafting and budding are being followed in multiplication of cocoa. 

Seed collection and Storage :

  • Ripe fruits are collected off the trees.
  • The seeds are separated from the soft pulp and washed with cold water, before drying and stored in gunny bags.
  • Seeds are viable for long time.

Seed Treatment :

  • No treatment is necessary.

Nursery Technique :

Seed propagation:

  • Cocoa seeds sown directly in polythene bags.
  • Regular weeding and watering is essential.
  • 6 month old seedlings are fit for planting
Vegetative Propagation:
  • Cocoa trees may propagated by vegetative cutting, budding, grafting. Invegetative propagation; to achieve 90% of rooting, should use cuttings of 3 to 4 cm long with 1 or 2leaves on it treated with IBA and planted in medium of rotten palm fiber and sand in equal part.
  • Generally tree cuttings of 15 cm length bearing four terminal leaves should be treated with NNA + IBAdip and planted in poly bags, this will result in rooting of 65 to 75% after one month.

Plantation technique :

  • In case where main crop is coconut and inter-crop is cocoa: Requires 7.5 m x 7.5 mwhichaccommodates 500 cocoa plants per hectare land.
  • In case where main crop is Arecanut and inter-crop is cocoa: Requires 2.7 m x 2.7 m whichaccommodates 686 cocoa plants per hectare land.
  • In case where main crop is Oil palm and inter-crop is cocoa: Requires 4.5 m x 4.5 m whichaccommodates 400 cocoa plants per hectare land.

Care & Disease Control :

  • Young cocoa plants should be irrigated frequently at an interval of 3 days during summer Itdoes not require any watering in rainy season.

Irrigation :

Proper irrigation of cocoa plants ensures healthy growth and yield. Constant moisture should be maintained as cocoa plants are sensitive to drought. Young cocoa plants should be irrigated frequently at an interval of 3 days during summer and hot/dry cli

Recommended Harvest :

Cocoa trees start flowering from third year of sowing/planting. Actual economic yield starts from fifth year. Cocoa pods mature in about 5 to 6 months. Usually cocoa produces two main crops in a year. Usually, one can judge the maturity of pods by colou

Yield :

  • Approximately 50 to 60 pods/ tree/ ha.

Agro Forestory :

The tree is often interplanted with bananas, coconuts and rubber

Major uses :

  • The main uses of cocoa are; food, medicinal/therapeutic, cosmetics, peat mulchalternative.