How To Start Cocoa Business In Nigeria
How to start cocoa business in Nigeria
Cocoa business is one of the most lucrative businesses in Africa. In this article, you will learn how to start cocoa business in Nigeria and make lots of money.
Cocoa is the plant from which chocolate is made. Cocoa used to be the Nigeria biggest export.
This cash crop had contributed up to 70.6% of Nigeria foreign earnings in agricultural sector, and no single agricultural export commodity had earned more than cocoa.
Nigeria used to be the leading Country in cocoa production, but today the country is behind Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Cocoa business in Nigeria is profitable because cocoa beans are needed all over the world, and it’s used to make chocolate, beverages, candy, and many more.
How to start Cocoa business in Nigeria
Starting a cocoa business in Nigeria is not what you just delve into. There are necessary things involves which you need to know and put in place.
1. Cocoa Business
If you have an interest in starting cocoa business in Nigeria. The first thing is to make a plan on how to raise a fund for your business, because there is a lot of expenses to be made.
Cocoa plant doesn’t grow well in all kinds of soil. It requires deep and well-drained soils. Poorly drained soil negatively affects its growth.
Majority of cocoa plants in African countries are grown on clay loam and sandy loam soil.
You can plant cocoa together with other cash crop like coconut for an extra profit.
2. Cocoa Variety to grow in Nigeria
We have a variety of cocoa plants and each has the soil it grows well on. So, you there is a need to test soil to determine which specie of cocoa is best for the soil.
There are three most common cocoa specie available in the Nigerian market, they include; trinitario, forastero and criollo.
3. Method of a cocoa plantation
Cocoa can be planted either by vegetation or seedling (proliferation). Although many people prefer seedlings because it grow faster. It can grow with seven days of sowing.
Aside that seedlings grow faster, the survival rate is higher than vegetive. Over 80% of the seeds will germinate when planted.
4. Cocoa Planting
When planting cocoa, you must be cautious of the manner in which you do it so it may survive. Try to plant cocoa trees at the beginning of the rainy season. To plant cocoa, use a hoe to dig a hole of about 40 to 50 centimetres.
After digging holes, mix organic manure and soil and fill the pit with it, that will improve the survival rate. But if the land is too fertile, then don’t trouble yourself about the pit.
So, after planting cocoa, do not abandon it like that, you need to mulch it as it grows.
5. Treatment and Manure
The reason for soil test is to know the soil fertility of the soil. This can also help you in deciding the fertilizer to apply. In Nigeria, NPK fertilizers are well known. The dose to apply depend on the yield you need.
6. Pruning Cocoa plant
Cocoa plant requires pruning as it grows. Most times, during the first year, several shoots will grow on the trunk. Cut off these shoots and leave only the strongest.
Sometimes the crown forms too low down, at less than 1 metre above ground level.
Choose a shoot which grows straight up and let it develop. A new crown will then form at a good height, and the first crown will stop growing.
Water is important for cocoa plant to grow well. If there is no satisfactory rainfall, then find way to water your cocoa farm.
Water is important because it causes cocoa plants to become grow and improves in yield.
8. Protecting Cocoa plantation
Cocoa should be shielded from diseases, pests, and other things that may destroy it. The most significant thing is to shield them from destructive insect and pests.
9. Harvesting cocoa pods
It takes about 5 months for cocoa to be fully mature for harvesting. After harvesting the pods, store it for four days. This encourages the fermentation. It makes prevalent quality cocoa beans conceivable.