Environmentally Friendly Practices To Boost Cocoa Production In Ghana
Ever wondered what makes up the delicious and yummy chocolate in the cup? Well, chocolate consist of two major components mainly; cocoa solids and cocoa butter. While the former gives flavour the latter is known to give the rich texture to the chocolate.
Cocoa as an ingredient is derived from cocoa beans which are the seeds of a cocoa fruit or better known as cocoa pods. This cocoa fruit or pods are grown in cocoa trees. Now the cocoa plantation or production is effective in the tropical regions located around the Equator. The hot and humid climatic conditions suit the growth of cocoa trees. The rainfall of 1500 – 2000 mm is the pre-requisite for good growth. Also, the presence of shade is important for cocoa trees. Thus, the forest agro-ecological zone is apt for its growth. The West African countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Cameroon together produce 70% of the world’s cocoa beans.
Cocoa has a special place in Ghana as it has been the main source of income for the nation for more than a century and continues to contribute 30% of export earnings. It is estimated that around 8 lakh farmers depend on cocoa production for livelihood and supports other sectors as well. But over the past 5 decades, it has been a bittersweet relationship with cocoa for the people of Ghana. In the 1960s, the production declined and reached its lowest level by the year 1980s. After the mid-1980s, the market picked up and continues to be a challenge for local people who do cocoa plantations. Various biological and social-economic factors are identified by experts which have caused low productivity. Let’s look at the biological factors that have affected cocoa production negatively in the past many years.
With chocolate consumption increasing, there is a rise in the demand for the cocoa world over. As a result, deforestation took place to accommodate cocoa tree plantation. It is believed that close to a million hectares of forest were cleared for it. This has led to soil fertility issues. As mentioned before, cocoa trees grow well under shade as it gives the suitable temperature for growth. This is how deforestation and clearing a vast amount of land has massively affected the productivity of cocoa trees. The lack of understanding with regards to the environmental impact of deforestation, sustainable solutions, and appropriate farming practices has led to uncertainty in the cocoa sector.
The other major factor is inappropriate farming practices. This includes the use of chemicals, fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides for boosting cocoa harvest and supplying to the rising demand. But it has negatively impacted the environment by eliminating beneficial microorganisms that improve soil fertility. Also, the extensive use of chemicals has led to the pollution of water resources nearby. As cocoa is a delicate crop, the weather conditions and diseases caused due to pathogens affect its growth. Therefore, sustainable solutions are the need of the hour for protecting the environment, boosting soil fertility, and increasing the cocoa production and quality output.
Organica Biotech is one of the leading companies on a mission to provide sustainable farming solutions to the world. It’s product Magic Gro Plus is a natural, effective, and eco-friendly soil conditioner that maintains healthy ecological balance in the soil, boost immunity against diseases, and increases productivity. This can be a boon for farmers in Ghana for maximizing cocoa plantation. One of the major highlights includes its efficiency even under severe weather conditions which can help cocoa trees to grow effectively and fight against diseases.
With the sole aim of helping the farmers and the farming sector, Organica Biotech’s wide range of natural and eco-friendly products increase the crop yield and output quality without disturbing the environment.