Cocoa production

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Cocoa production

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Cacao growing in the Gold Coast or Ghana. Cacao farming in Ghana became just a century old industry in 1979. The cacao farming extends for several hundred kilometers from a point of about 24 kilometers inland from the seacoast. Supported by excellent environment conditions, cacao lands are mostly owned and operated by the uneducated natives. The educated natives however obtain better result. Two harvests are generally reaped; the more important one takes place between September and February and the other from May to July. During the harvest, labour supply is a major problem. The prevalence of the dreadful tsetse fly, permanently Ailing out the use of work animals, just accentuates the problem If the problems of unskilled labour and difficult transportation are successfully tackled, a great increase in production is a certainty. The vastly greater areas, as yet uncultivated with cacao are impregnated with immense possibilities.

Other regions of West Africa. Nigeria is at present the fourth ranking nation in the world in the production of cacao beans. Declining oil-palm industry, greater labour supply motivates the development of cacao farming in Nigeria. The rise of the Ivory Coast is not meteoric like Ghana and Nigeria yet the growth is steady and consistent, backed up by the European technical and entrepreneurial know-how. Abundance of cacao lands is handicapped by the paucity of labour. The patterns of growth in other west African countries are similar to those just discussed.

Cacao production in the Americas. Before the shift of productions the entire cacao output of the world came from the American countries mainly from Equador and Brazil as also from small islands and mainland areas in the Caribbean. Decline of this region is ascribed to the neglect of old plantations, small and inefficient labour force, inadequate transport facilities and excessive export taxes. Brazil is by far the most important country m South America and was the world's second largest producer of cacao beans in 1987-88. She grows her cacao on coastal strip extending for 463 km with 500,000 acres under cacao. Highly favorable physical environment is offset by the poor cultural environment in which methods of farming, and high taxes stand out prominently.

Equador originally produced 30% of the world's cacao beans but it has to be complacent with a little over 5% in 1987-88. The cacao farming in the Caribbean lands of central America have developed on the abandoned banana lands. The greatest advantage of this region is cheap availability of highly efficient Negro laborers. Large plantations are owned by the whites but in some countries such as the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Negroes have small farms occupying only a few acres.

World Trade and Consumption. The U.S.A. is the largest importer of cacao taking about 2/5th of the world total. Next in order of importance are U.K. Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. -

The main exporters of cacao are Ivory Coast (35%), Ghana (1%), Brazil (12%), Nigeria (8%), Trinidad, Venezuela and Ecuador. The Netherlands and Switzerland supply chocolate and chocolate products. Western Africa supplies 70% and South America 15% of cacao to the world.

The European Economic Community, the largest raw cacao importer in the world, imported 390 thousand tones of raw cacao in 1987-88. This quantity was not entirely consumed in the E.E.C. area. Netherlands and Italy re-exported the major portion of raw imports as semi-finished chocolate products. The share in total consumption of chocolate products in E.E.C. area is between 50 to 80 per cent. Germany is the largest consumer absorbing almost 50 per cent of the entire E.E.C. cacao imports. Per capita consumptions of cacao in Germany is 2.15 kilos, and in Italy 0.43 kilo.

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