Cocoa cultivating presents a standout amongst the best business open door in Agribusiness. The interest for cocoa seeds worldwide is very high and the cost in global market is very promising to agriculturists. You definitely recognize what cocoa is utilized for. There will be no chocolate on the shelf without the cocoa seeds. Confectionery and Beverage making organizations will leave business if cocoa farmers stops farming.
Nigeria profited tremendously from cocoa production until the discovery of oil. The economy of cocoa producing states flourished. Disregard before long prompted a decrease. Anyway it isn’t all awful news as there has been a resurgence in cocoa production in recent years. Huge planting of cocoa seeds followed. Planting of more than eleven million seedlings was finished. This was between 2004 to 2006. This is as indicated by the National Cocoa Development Committee (NCDC). Cocoa creating states in Nigeria incorporate Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Kwara and Ekiti States. Others incorporate Taraba, Kogi, Delta, Edo, Cross River Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, and Abia.
Get Affordable seed/seedlings
Apart from other good varieties, the eight hybrids available in Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) Ibadan are CRIN TC-1, CRIN TC-2, CRIN TC-3, CRIN TC-4, CRIN TC-5,CRIN TC-6, CRIN TC-7 and CRIN TC-8.
These eight hybrids have diverse genetic base; they are early bearing, high yielding with very low input, resistant to major pests and diseases of cocoa, highly adaptable to cocoa ecologies of Nigeria, very good cocoa quality traits.
The cost of the seedlings at CRIN are (a) WACRI costs N100 per seedlings, (b) F3 Amazon will cost a farmer N120 per seedling (c) Hybrid-open Pollination is N150 per Seedlings (d) Hybrid-Hand Pollinated N200 per seedling and (e) Budded, N500 per seedling.
Climate Condition For Cocoa Farming
Cocoa is produced in countries in a belt between 10ºN and 10ºS of the Equator, where the climate is appropriate for growing cocoa trees. The largest producing countries are Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia.
The natural habitat of the cocoa tree is in the lower storey of the evergreen rainforest, and climatic factors, particularly temperature and rainfall, are important in encouraging optimum growth.
Cocoa plants respond well to relatively high temperatures, with a maximum annual average of 30 – 32ºC and a minimum average of 18 – 21ºC.
Soil Condition And Property
Cocoa needs a soil containing coarse particles and with a reasonable quantity of nutrients, to a depth of 1.5m to allow the development of a good root system. Below that level it is desirable not to have impermeable material, so that excess water can drain away. Cocoa will
withstand waterlogging for short periods, but excess water should not linger. The cocoa tree is sensitive to a lack of water, so the soil must have both water retention properties and good drainage.
The chemical properties of the topsoil are most important, as the plant has a large number of roots for absorbing nutrients. Cocoa can
grow in soils with a pH in the range of 5.0-7.5. It can therefore cope with both acid and alkaline soil, but excessive acidity (pH 4.0 and
below) or alkalinity (pH 8.0 and above) must be avoided.
You can do inter cropping in your cocoa farm, with crops such as plantain, banana, oil palm, coconut and other crops.
In such cases, depending on the inter-crop, a distance of 2.7 to 7 metres should be maintained. The farmer should also consult expert from the research institute on some of the best global practices.
Weeding and soil cover
The FAO noted that many weeds grow among the cocoa tree rows and advised farmers not to let weeds take nourishment away from the cocoa trees.
The UN agency said when the cocoa trees are young, farmers should weed 4 or 5 times every year; and when the cocoa trees are bigger, they cast a lot of shade and so few weeds will grow therefore it will be enough to weed once a year.