Health & Lifestyle

Miles to go before you get your Chocolate

Professor Rajendra Kumar
Professor Rajendra Kumar
cocoa
Coco is an agricultural crop grown all over the world.  Everyone knows the popularity of chocolate in the international market. It is made out of coco powder. Therefore, a steady income can be ensured through Coco cultivation provided one has a farm suitable for its cultivation.
 
Coco can be grown as an intercrop or main crop.  Intercropping means that it can be cultivated among other crops.  For example, in the case of a Coconut or Cassava plantation, a few Coco trees can be grown in between.  Rubber farmers in Kerala who are suffering from low prices for their products can also try Coco cultivation.  Coco is a crop that gives 100% yield throughout the year.  It is perfectly safe except for the possibility of flooding during the rainy season.
 
If the purpose is to cultivate as the main crop, about 400 seedlings can be planted per acre.  A distance of at least 4 m between the two seedlings is required.  Make sure that the plant receives adequate sunlight.  Coco is best grown in well-drained soil.  The pit should be dug at a depth of one and a half feet for planting seedlings.  The advantage of using hybrid seedlings is that more seeds can be obtained from each pod.
Farmers say that manure is a good fertilizer for Coco. It will give good yields within three years without much care.  Coco costs around Rs 200 per kg in the market.  Fermented Coco beans earn more money to farmers .  Green beans are also given comparatively fair price in the market.
 
Housewives can also earn a decent income if they cultivate four or five Coco trees near their houses.  Coco can be grown on a small scale using kitchen waste and dishwashing water.  No need to seek professional help to pluck its seeds,  when it starts to ripen. It is enough to grow the trees to a height that can be managed by hand.  Fruits should be wrapped in plastic bags as it may cause loss of ripe fruit after being bitten by rats and mice.  It also helps to prevent some pests from draining the fruit juice.  It is good to proon the trees once a year to make sure proper ventilation and sunlight.
 
It is better to follow the method of beating two fruits against each other to collect the seeds after the harvest.  Cutting with a knife is not so good anyway.  All the seeds should be taken out and kept in a plastic bag for three days and then dried in the sun and taken to the nearest market as soon as possible.

If there are many trees , processing requires more attention.  Scientific recommendations can be obtained from the nearest agriculture office.  The processing of Coco beans is generally done in two stages.  A detailed write up about it will follow soon in another article. 

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