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Are you interested in Cocoa Cultivation? Know everything about it

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair
Cocoa

Cocoa cultivation is spread over 58 countries. However, African countries contribute about 70 per cent of global cocoa production. Coco arrived in India in 1887, but it was in the 1960s that farming began. At that time there was only one company to procure cocoa. Cocoa stocks also came to a standstill as the company became inactive. The farmer suffered a huge price drop. Coco became a miserable character.

However, today the situation has changed drastically. Many international companies have taken notice of procuring Indian cocoa. They are also willing to procure at a price higher than the international market price. The changed circumstances are the hope of the cocoa farmer today. Therefore, it is imperative to promote scientific cocoa cultivation.

Cultivation and care

Cocoa cultivation is best done with good fertile forest soil. Cocoa grows well in sandy loam soils of our country. Cocoa is a suitable intercrop for coconut and squash. Cocoa should be planted at a distance of 3 m. A 10-year-old coconut grove should be planted in rows of 2 rows of coconut at a distance of 3 m apart. In addition, each cocoa can be planted in a row of coconuts between two coconuts. In the case of a cocoon garden, two rows of cocoons can be planted in alternate rows with 4 cocoons in the middle at the rate of one cocoa. In addition, cocoa is now grown in rubber plantations. The rate is one cocoa in the middle of 4 rubber trees in alternating rows.

The length, width and height of the pits are prepared in May-June with the onset of banana. After digging, cover with topsoil and manure. Make a small hole in the middle. A small pit is planted in the middle of the plot. Six-month-old cocoa seedlings are planted.

As it is rainy season immediately after planting, the soil should be augmented to prevent stagnant water. Weeding is mandatory in the early days. Weeds can be removed and mulched. This will help maintain moisture. With the onset of summer, the plants should be protected with shade or shed nets in shady places. In addition, bananas and sorghum can be planted for temporary shade.

The usual method is to fill the bed with water. Drip irrigation should be used for efficient irrigation. In any case, you need 125 litres of water at least twice a week. In gardens with fewer irrigation facilities, rainwater harvesting can be drained and the moisture retained.

When the plant is one and a half to two years old, the twigs will grow to four or five fan horns on the sides. It is best for us to remove all the sprouts immediately and plant them in isolation. A well-maintained cocoa plant will begin to bloom by the second year.

Cocoa

Fertilizer application

Plants yielding more than 60 per cent should be given double fertilizer. Only one-third of the recommended fertilizer should be applied in the first year of planting and two-thirds in the second year. In irrigated orchards, it should be divided into four instalments.

Pruning

If pruning or horns are not done frequently, the plant can grow up to four to eight feet high by 8 to 12 meters. In intercropping it is advisable to avoid this and keep the cocoa alone. Care should be taken to avoid the subsequent layers after the first layer. In the rainy season, remove the twigs growing from the side of the jacket and prepare the sunshine on the trunk of the plant. In summer, the stems should be planted in the shape of an umbrella. In this way, the plant can be protected from the hot sunlight falling on the trunk.

The yield

In scientific cultivation, a plant can give 100 to 200 fruits. It is estimated that if one acre of coconut grove is grown as an intercrop, the average income will be around Rs 30,000. Needless to say, at least 10 per cent of our existing coconut plantations can be self-sufficient in cocoa production if they are grown as a cocoa crop.

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