Things to know for Cocoa Bean production in Ghana
All forms of chocolate come humbly begin from the small cocoa beans, which are grown on the cocoa tree (also known as cacao tree). While the origin of the tree is known to be somewhere in America, specifics are still unknown. Some say that the trees first grew in the Amazon basin in Brazil, while others say that the tree originated in Orinoco a valley in Venezuela. Irrespective of the origin, growing cocoa beans is not walk in the park, so here is what you need to know in order to have your very own cocoa farm in Ghana. Here it is very important to remember that cocoa can only be produced with 20deg south or north of the equator.
Cocoa Beans need shelter
The cocoa tree is a tropical plant which thrives in rainy climates and hot temperature. That said, it is very delicate. It needs to be protected from direct wind and sun.
Plantation Tips for Cocoa production
Planting a cocoa tree for reliable cocoa production in Accra, requires a lot of care, due to which the seeds are usually planted in the shade of tall trees such as plantain and banana or coconut. Once a tree has been established they can withstand a lot more sunlight. The ideal location to grow cocoa trees is on small plots in partial shade which is tended to regularly. As a rule of thumb, cocoa trees can begin their life in a nursery in a plastic bag or a fiber basket. The seeds sprout so fast that they are ready for transplanting within month. After planting some seeds you have to take care of the seeds, much more than you need to take care of the tree. In order to become a high quality cocoa bean producer in Accra, you need to:
- Replace the seeds which failed to grow.
- Remove the weeds and keep the soil covered.
- Prune the trees.
- Apply fertilizer after a set amount of time.
- Protect the trees from diseases and insects.
Care for the cocoa plant
It is very important to know that a premium quality fertilizer costs a lot, so make sure to apply fertilizer only when needed. Also make sure that you don’t apply fertilizer to the truck of the tree or the branches or the leaves, it will burn the tree. So make sure that you spread the fertilizer around the tree at the distance of 1 meter. Also if the plantation is not well cared for, even regular application of fertilizer wouldn’t do anything to improve the situation. Do make sure that you determine the type of soil beforehand, because every soil has different fertilizer needs.
As discussed, the cocoa tree is very fragile, so make sure that you don’t use any pesticide too acidic in nature to keep those pesky insects off your precious investment. With the technological advancements, there have been developed pesticides specifically to repel borers and capsids.
So, it is to note that the fragility of the tree is very much stressed here and when you grow some high quality don’t forget to share it with others.