The cacao beans are the seed of the cocoa tree, a tropical plant native to the Americas’ equatorial areas but now produced in many nations with warm, tropical climates.
The bean may be used to manufacture garden fertilizers and animal feed, but it is best known for being the main component in something that people all over the globe enjoy on a daily basis: chocolate.
The chocolate business is now worth more than $100 billion dollars. As a result, cocoa bean cultivation is very important to chocolate makers. Unfortunately, since millions of youngsters are exploited as workers in the harvesting of cocoa beans, such agriculture is also a major source of criticism for the chocolate business.
The top five cocoa-producing nations are as follows:
1. Cote d’Ivoire
Cote d’Ivoire produces about 2 million tons of cocoa beans, making it the world’s largest producer. In fact, cocoa exports account for 40% of Ivoirians’ export earnings, implying that the price of cocoa is very important to their national economy.
The nation, which is situated in West Africa’s tropical area, has a population of more than 26 million people, with an estimated six million working in the cocoa industry. The typical cocoa grower in the Ivory Coast earns 97 cents per day, significantly below the $1.90 per day poverty limit set by the World Bank.
The Republic of Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire’s eastern neighbor, is the world’s second-largest cocoa exporter. Cocoa production contributes to 30% of the country’s export earnings. Cocoa farming directly employs over 800,000 Ghanaian farmers.
Child labor is frequent in the cocoa industry, as it is throughout Cote d’Ivoire. The loss of Ghana’s woodlands is another source of worry. More than 100,000 hectares of woodland were removed for cocoa planting between 2010 and 2015.
Indonesia is the only one of the five top cocoa-producing countries in the world that is not in Africa. Cocoa farming is a relatively recent business in Indonesia.
In fact, until the 1980s, the nation scarcely produced any cocoa. By 2009, the country’s cocoa output had reached an all-time high of 849,875 tons. However, output fell dramatically in the 2010s, reaching just 400,000 tons in 2015.
Government regulations, aged cocoa trees, and Indonesian cocoa’s high cadmium concentration are all blamed by producers.
Nigeria is the world’s fourth-largest cocoa-producing country, situated only two nations east of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Despite producing over 300,000 tons of cocoa, Nigerians have been unable to fully exploit the cash crop for a variety of reasons.
To begin with, many of the cocoa trees in Nigeria, as well as the individuals who tend them, are rather ancient. Second, many of the country’s farmers utilize antiquated agricultural practices. Finally, chemicals are utilized in an ineffective way in the production of cocoa beans.
Nigerians have also failed to diversify the use of their cocoa by producing cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and cocoa liquor in addition to chocolate. In reality, if current trends in cocoa output in Nigeria do not improve, the country’s cocoa production will be phased out in the next twenty years.
Cameroon, Nigeria’s eastern border, is the world’s fifth-largest cocoa producer. Cocoa cultivation now occupies 37 percent of Cameroon’s agricultural land.
Cocoa farming is the primary source of income for the vast majority of the country’s rural residents. However, the long-term viability of cocoa farming in the nation is in question, given the great majority of cocoa, fields are old and poorly managed.
The Top cocoa-producing Countries
|Rank||Country||Cocoa production in 2020|
|11||Papua New Guinea||44,504|
|28||Republic Of The Congo||4,000|
|30||Sao Tome And Principe||2,778|
|43||Trinidad And Tobago||320|
Effects of Cocoa Production
The production of the cash crop will continue as long as people continue to enjoy chocolate and other goods manufactured from cocoa. However, many contend that the exploitation of children and forced labor in cocoa fields should not continue.
Unfair labor practices in the cocoa industry are being criticized by an increasing number of individuals.
Human rights groups are pushing customers to purchase fair trade chocolate from firms that do not utilize cocoa produced by child and slave workers, hence lowering demand for child labor.
Nonetheless, it is believed that cocoa-growing employs almost two million children in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana alone.