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CULTIVATION OF COCOA (THEOBROMA CACAO)



COCOA (Theobroma cacao)

Cocoa is a beverage crop used for the preparation of many food drinks like Ovaltine, Bournvita, Pronto, etc. in Nigeria. It belongs to the plant family called Sterculiaceae. The fruit is called cocoa pod.

Land Preparation for cocoa planting

: (i) Select well- drained deep soil, heavy clay-loam with slightly acidic or neutral pH.
(i) Keep the area protected from strong winds.
(ii) Clear the area manually or mechanically.
(iii) Avoid clean-clearing. Some forest/big trees may be left to provide shade for seedlings.
(iv) Leave some plant refuse behind to provide mulch and reduce evaporation.



Cultivars or Varieties of cocoa

(a)

Amelonado:

This prx1uces pods that arc lightly furrowed with a round end. The pods are green when unripe and become yellow when ripe.
(b)

Amazon:

This produces pods with long, rough and thick hard walls, deeply furrowed with a pointed end. The pods are green when mature and become yellow when ripe.
(c)

Criollo:

This produces a high quality bean but the pods are liable to attack by black pod disease.

Climatic and soil requirement for the cultivation of cocoa

(i) Cocoa is a humid tropical crop. (ii) Grows best in areas with 1140 - 2000 mm annual rainfall, well distributed most of the year. (iii)Needs constant supply of moisture. (iv) Should be protected from strong winds. (v) Temperature requirement not below 17°C.

Method of cocoa propagation :

(i) This is mainly by seeds (ii) Vegetatively by budding and stem cutting.

Planting dates:

Nursery is done October to January. Field (transplanting) between April and June.
Spacing: Nursery: 20cm x 20cm;
Field: 3m x 3m.

Nursery Practices in cocoa production




Summary of planting of Cocoa

(i) Cocoa trees are usually raised from nurseries
(ii) Seeds to be planted in the nurseries must be selected from those fleshly harvested pods because seed viability reduces rapidly if kept for long time
(iii) Seeds are planted in small baskets hued with good loamy oil and should be well-watered but not water-logged
(iv) Keep the baskets with the seeds & under shades protected from strong wind&
(v) Can use plastic buckets instead of basket though their bases should be cut and sides slit, open when transplanting.
(vi) Transplanting is ready within 5 – 9 months after sowing the seeds
(vii) Planting is usually done at the beginning of the rainy season
(viii) Spacing is usually 3m x 3m, though this varies with the cultivar
(ix) When transplanting, dig sufficiently deep and large holes to accommodate the whole ball of earth from basket or plastic bucket
(x) After removing the basket/plastic pot put good loamy soil around the seedling.
(xi) Apply mulch the seedling.
(xii) Water and provide shades.
(xii) Cocoa seeds may also be planted directly in the field, using initial spacing of 1m x 1m, later thinned down to 2m x 2m; and finally 2m

Cultural Practices in cocoa cultivation

(i) Weeding: This should be done regularly.
(ii) Shading: Some crops like banana, cocoyam should be grown to provide shades to cocoa seedlings.
(iii) Fertilizer application: Urea or sulphate of ammonia is applied at 3000kg/ha, when the plant is about 8-12 weeks old on the field.
(iv) Mulching: This should be done by growing cover-crops like calopogonium to cover the soil
(v) Pruning: This is also done by removing the lower branches. Prunning encourages better canopy formation, more light penetration, and improved air movement

Maturity period of cocoa

: Cocoa plant matures within three to five years.

How to Harvest cocoa

: Ripe or mature cocoa pod is harvested by carefully cutting off the pod from the tree, using sharp cutlass, harvesting knife or sickle, without damage to the flower cushion.

Processing of cocoa

(1) Breaking of pods: The pods are carefully opened with a blunt cutlass or by hitting them with heavy rod to remove the cocoa beans.
(ii) Fermentation: Cocoa beans can be fermented by using the sweat box or tray method for about five days. During the fermentation process, cocoa beans undergo chemical changes brought about by the action of heat. The beans change to a red brown colour and develop the characteristic chocolate flavour. Theobromine is one of the properties of fermentation. This substance gives cocoa its stimulating property.
Drying: After fermentation, the bean seeds are now dried under the sun for 6-10 days or dryers may be used.
Storage: Properly dried beans are stored in sacks or jute bags ready for export.


Pests of Cocoa and their control methods

(1) Cocoa capsids: These insects pierce and suck sap from young shoots. causing reduced yield.
Control: Spray with insecticides like Gammalin 20 or Didimac 25.
(2) Mealy bugs: They are vectors or carriers of the virus that cause swollen shoot disease through their biting and sucking of shoots and fruits.
Control: Spray with insecticides, e.g, Gammalin 20.


Diseases of cocoa and control

(1) Black pod disease: It is caused by a fungus (Phytophthora pulmivora) which is spread by rain splash. Symptoms include brown spores on fruits covered by soaked, powdery spores which result in rotten black pod.
Control:
(i) Remove and destroy infected pods.
(ii) Apply regular weeding.
(iii) Spray with fungicides. e.g., Bordeaux mixture or Perenox;
(iv).

Burning of infected pods

.
(2)

Swollen Shoot Disease:

It is caused by a virus which is transmitted by mealy bugs.
Symptoms: include the swelling of branches, malformation of leaves and premature defoliation.
Control:
(i) Destroy and bum infected plants.
(ii) Spray with insecticides to kill the vector (mealy bugs).
(iii) Plant resistant varieties.

COCOA (Theobroma cacao)

Cocoa is a beverage crop used for the preparation of many food drinks like Ovaltine, Bournvita, Pronto, etc. in Nigeria. It belongs to the plant family called Sterculiaceae. The fruit is called cocoa pod.



Land Preparation for cocoa planting

: (i) Select well- drained deep soil, heavy clay-loam with slightly acidic or neutral pH.
(i) Keep the area protected from strong winds.
(ii) Clear the area manually or mechanically.
(iii) Avoid clean-clearing. Some forest/big trees may be left to provide shade for seedlings.
(iv) Leave some plant refuse behind to provide mulch and reduce evaporation.

Cultivars or Varieties of cocoa

(a)

Amelonado:

This prx1uces pods that arc lightly furrowed with a round end. The pods are green when unripe and become yellow when ripe.
(b)

Amazon:

This produces pods with long, rough and thick hard walls, deeply furrowed with a pointed end. The pods are green when mature and become yellow when ripe.
(c)

Criollo:

This produces a high quality bean but the pods are liable to attack by black pod disease.

Climatic and soil requirement for the cultivation of cocoa

(i) Cocoa is a humid tropical crop. (ii) Grows best in areas with 1140 - 2000 mm annual rainfall, well distributed most of the year. (iii)Needs constant supply of moisture. (iv) Should be protected from strong winds. (v) Temperature requirement not below 17°C.

Method of cocoa propagation :

(i) This is mainly by seeds (ii) Vegetatively by budding and stem cutting.

Planting dates:

Nursery is done October to January. Field (transplanting) between April and June.
Spacing: Nursery: 20cm x 20cm;
Field: 3m x 3m.

Nursery Practices in cocoa production

Summary of planting of Cocoa(i) Cocoa trees are usually raised from nurseries
(ii) Seeds to be planted in the nurseries must be selected from those fleshly harvested pods because seed viability reduces rapidly if kept for long time
(iii) Seeds are planted in small baskets hued with good loamy oil and should be well-watered but not water-logged
(iv) Keep the baskets with the seeds & under shades protected from strong wind&
(v) Can use plastic buckets instead of basket though their bases should be cut and sides slit, open when transplanting.
(vi) Transplanting is ready within 5 – 9 months after sowing the seeds
(vii) Planting is usually done at the beginning of the rainy season
(viii) Spacing is usually 3m x 3m, though this varies with the cultivar
(ix) When transplanting, dig sufficiently deep and large holes to accommodate the whole ball of earth from basket or plastic bucket


(x) After removing the basket/plastic pot put good loamy soil around the seedling.
(xi) Apply mulch the seedling.
(xii) Water and provide shades.
(xii) Cocoa seeds may also be planted directly in the field, using initial spacing of 1m x 1m, later thinned down to 2m x 2m; and finally 2m

Cultural Practices in cocoa cultivation

(i) Weeding: This should be done regularly.
(ii) Shading: Some crops like banana, cocoyam should be grown to provide shades to cocoa seedlings.
(iii) Fertilizer application: Urea or sulphate of ammonia is applied at 3000kg/ha, when the plant is about 8-12 weeks old on the field.
(iv) Mulching: This should be done by growing cover-crops like calopogonium to cover the soil
(v) Pruning: This is also done by removing the lower branches. Prunning encourages better canopy formation, more light penetration, and improved air movement

Maturity period of cocoa

: Cocoa plant matures within three to five years.

How to Harvest cocoa

: Ripe or mature cocoa pod is harvested by carefully cutting off the pod from the tree, using sharp cutlass, harvesting knife or sickle, without damage to the flower cushion.

Processing of cocoa

(1) Breaking of pods: The pods are carefully opened with a blunt cutlass or by hitting them with heavy rod to remove the cocoa beans.
(ii) Fermentation: Cocoa beans can be fermented by using the sweat box or tray method for about five days. During the fermentation process, cocoa beans undergo chemical changes brought about by the action of heat. The beans change to a red brown colour and develop the characteristic chocolate flavour. Theobromine is one of the properties of fermentation. This substance gives cocoa its stimulating property.
Drying: After fermentation, the bean seeds are now dried under the sun for 6-10 days or dryers may be used.
Storage: Properly dried beans are stored in sacks or jute bags ready for export.


Pests of Cocoa and their control methods

(1) Cocoa capsids: These insects pierce and suck sap from young shoots. causing reduced yield.
Control: Spray with insecticides like Gammalin 20 or Didimac 25.
(2) Mealy bugs: They are vectors or carriers of the virus that cause swollen shoot disease through their biting and sucking of shoots and fruits.
Control: Spray with insecticides, e.g, Gammalin 20.


Diseases of cocoa and control

(1) Black pod disease: It is caused by a fungus (Phytophthora pulmivora) which is spread by rain splash. Symptoms include brown spores on fruits covered by soaked, powdery spores which result in rotten black pod.
Control:
(i) Remove and destroy infected pods.
(ii) Apply regular weeding.
(iii) Spray with fungicides. e.g., Bordeaux mixture or Perenox;
(iv).

Burning of infected pods

.
(2)

Swollen Shoot Disease:

It is caused by a virus which is transmitted by mealy bugs.
Symptoms: include the swelling of branches, malformation of leaves and premature defoliation.
Control:
(i) Destroy and bum infected plants.
(ii) Spray with insecticides to kill the vector (mealy bugs).
(iii) Plant resistant varieties.

HERE YOU WILL FIND EVERY AVAILABLE TOPICS ABOUT AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND BIOLOGY. AND THE LINKS TO THEIR VARIOUS SOURCES.
1. DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE
2. IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE
3. SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE
4. COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE
5. PROBLEM OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
6. SOLUTIONS TO POOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
7. AGRICULTURAL LAWS AND REFORMS
8. ROLES OF GOVERNMENT IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
9. AGRICULTURAL POLICIES
10. PROGRAM PLANNING IN AGRICULTURE
34.
FORESTRY
35. WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
36. FACTORS AFFECTING LAND AVAILABILITY
37. TOPOGRAPHY
38. SOIL
39. BIOLOGICAL FACTORS
40. SOCIAL-ECONOMIC FACTORS
41. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
42. CLIMATIC FACTORS AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
43. TEMPERATURE
44. RAINFALL
45. WIND
46. SUNLIGHT
47. SOLAR RADIATION
48. BIOTIC FACTOR AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
49. PESTS
50. BIRDS
51. DISEASES
52. SOIL MICRO-ORGANISMS
53. SOIL PH
54. ROCK FORMATION
55. IGNEOUS ROCK
56. SEDIMENTARY ROCKS
57. METAMORPHIC
58. SOIL AND ITS FORMATION
59. FACTORS OF SOIL FORMATION
60. LIVING ORGANISM
61. PARENT MATERIALS
62. SOIL FORMATION TOPOGRAPHY
63. PROCESS OF SOIL FORMATION
64. WEATHERING
65. PHYSICAL WEATHERING
66. CHEMICAL WEATHERING
67. PRESSURE
68. WATER
73. BIOLOGICAL WEATHERING
74. CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL COMPOSITION OF THE SOIL
75. SOIL WATER
76. MICRO AND MACRO NUTRIENTS
77. SOIL MICRO ORGANISM
78. PROPERTIES OF SOIL
79. SOIL STRUCTURE
80. SANDY SOIL CLAY SOIL LOAMY SOIL
83. SOIL TEXTURE
84. IDENTIFICATION OF SOIL TYPES THROUGH EXPERIMENTS
85. RETENTION OF WATER BY VARIOUS SOIL TYPES
86. DETERMINATION OF SOIL PH REACTION
87. COLORIMETRIC DETERMINATION OF SOIL PH LEVEL
88. PH SOIL TEST
89. PLANT NUTRIENTS
soil improvement techniques
90. MACRO NUTRIENTS IN GENERAL
112. THE MAINTENANCE OF SOIL FERTILITY
113. CROP ROTATION
114. APPLICATION OF ORGANIC MANURES FARM YARD MANURE APPLICATION OF INORGANIC MANURE
117. LIMING
118. FARMING PRACTICES
119. BUSH BURNING CLEARING
121. FERTILIZER APPLICATION
122. ORGANIC MANURING FARM YARD MANURE
124. HUMUS
125. COMPOST
126. CROP ROTATION
133. FARM POWER AND MACHINERY
134. SOURCES OF FARM POWER
135. HUMAN SOURCE
149. PLOUGHS
142. FIELD MACHINES
157. PLANTERS
164. SIMPLE FARM TOOLS
165. AGRICULTURAL MECHANIZATION
166. THE CONCEPT OF MECHANIZATION





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