Type : Seedlings
Theobroma cacao, also called the cacao tree and the cocoa tree, is a small (4–8 m (13–26 ft) tall) evergreen tree in the family Malvaceae,native to the deep tropical regions of the Americas. Its seeds, cocoa beans, are used to make chocolate liquor, cocoa solids, cocoa butter and chocolate.
Products and Uses
Seeds are the source of commercial cocoa and the main final product is the chocolate. Intermediate cocoa products are cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, cocoa powder and cocoa cake. Cocoa Powder is used in Chocolates, Sweets, Ice creams Bakery items and Beverages. Besides the traditional uses in chocolates and confectionaries, cocoa butter is also used in the manufacture of tobacco, soap, and cosmetics in some countries.
The best soils for cocoa are deep, well-drained clay loams rich in organic matter. Scattered stones are pebbles are tolerable up to 40% of the surface of such soils. Coarse gravelly soils, sandy soils, shallow soils, and soils are underlain by slab rock or hard laterite are unsuitable.
Seeds are normally used for planting. Pods, taken from selected cocoa lines, are opened to get fresh seeds and then seeds are thoroughly washed to remove the mucilage. Seeds can be sown in a sand bed or can be directly planted in a poly bag filled with an equal mixture of topsoil, cow dung, and sand. If sown in a sand bed, seedlings should be replanted in a poly bag. Bud grafted cocoa plants are also used as planting material especially in multiplying high yielding varieties.