Tuesday, March 29, 2011


COCOA (Theobroma cacao) also cacao tree and cocoa tree under MALVACEAE family is a small (4–8 m or 15–26 ft tall) evergreen tree. This crop also identified in the family Sterculiaceae (alternatively Malvaceae) and native to the deep tropical region of the Americas. Its seeds are used to make cocoa powder and chocolate. There are two prominent competing hypotheses about the origins of the domestication of the originally wild Theobroma cacao tree. One is that wild examples were originally distributed from southeastern Mexico to the Amazon basin, with domestication taking place both in the Lacandon area of Mexico and in lowland South America. But recent studies of Theobroma cacao genetics seem to show that the plant originated in the Amazon and was distributed by humans throughout Central America and Mesoamerica. This article I would like to share information about cocoa industry based on my farm experience in agriculture sector for almost 30 years and make a reference from few cocoa technical books.

Malaysia among few countries in the world producing cocoa since many decade with an introduction of latest best clones. The total area of cocoa plantation was drastically decrease from 383,465 hectare in 1990 to only 20,947 hectare in 2010. Total cocoa area planted in Malaysia reduced 95% in 10 years from 1990 to 2010 due to many factors such as the competition with oil palm industry, lack of interest from farmers and estate sector, impact of the previous Cocoa Pod Borer issue, marketing and planting material issue. Until today about 3,613 hectare (17%) of cocoa area under estate management and 17,334 hectare are grown by smallholder (83%). As a comparison in 1990 about 193,365 hectare (49%) of cocoa area are under estate sector and only 200,100 hectare (51%) under smallholder categories. Most estate sector convert their vegetation from cocoa to oil palm in 10 consecutive years. Out of 20,947 hectare of cocoa in Malaysia planted , only 6,853 hectare are in Peninsular Malaysia (Mostly in Perak, Johor, Selangor and Pahang), 8,585 hectare in Sabah and 5,509 in Sarawak.

Total area planted in the whole world with cocoa about 6.9 million hectare with the largest area in Ivory Coast records as the largest cocoa producers about 1.3 million metric ton/year. The second largest producers of cocoa beans is Ghana (716,00 mt) followed by Indonesia (610,000 mt), Nigeria (366,000 mt) and Brazil (213,000 mt). Malaysia today produce about 33,423 metric ton with total value of about RM 77.226 million in 2009. There are about 20 countries active growing cocoa trees until today.

The history of cocoa tree originally found growing wild in the low foothills of the Andes at elevations of around 200–400 m (650–1300 ft) in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins. It requires a humid climate with regular rainfall and good soil. It is an understory tree that growing best with some overhead shade. The leaves are alternate, entire, unlobed, 10–40 cm (4–16 in) long and 5–20 cm (2–8 in) broad. Poisonous and inedible, they are filled with a creamy, milky liquid and taste spicy and unpleasant. Cacao flowers are produced in clusters directly on the trunk and older branches and they are small with 1–2 cm (1/2–1 in) diameter with pink calyx. While many of the world's flowers are pollinated by bees (Hymenoptera) or butterflies/moths (Lepidoptera), cacao flowers are pollinated by tiny flies known as Forcipomyia midges in the order Diptera. The cocoa fruit are called a cacao pod is ovoid with 15–30 cm (6–12 in) long and 8–10 cm (3–4 in) wide. When the fruit tart ripening the skin color change from yellow to orange and weighs about 500 g (1 lb) when ripe. The pod contains from 20 to 60 seeds and usually called "beans" embedded in a white pulp. The seeds are the main ingredient of chocolate, while the pulp is used in some countries to prepare a refreshing juice. Each seed contains a significant amount of fat (40–50%) as cocoa butter. Their most noted active constituent is theobromine, a compound similar to caffeine.

There are three main cultivar groups of cacao beans used to make cocoa and chocolate.The most prized cocoa are rare and expensive is the Criollo Group, the cocoa bean used by the Maya. Only 10% of chocolate is made from Criollo, which is less bitter and more aromatic than any other bean. The cacao bean in 80% of chocolate is made using beans of the Forastero Group. Forastero trees are significantly hardier than Criollo trees, resulting in cheaper cacao beans. Trinitario as a hybrid of Criollo and Forastero is used in about 10% of chocolate. The best cocoa clone in Malaysia are KKM Clone, PB Clone and few local clones. Raub Area in Pahang produce high quality cocoa beans in Malaysia priced about RM 8.00 - RM 16.00 per kilogram dries beans.


M Anem


1 comment:

  1. Salam tuan, bagaimana boleh saya dapatkan detail cost bg penanaman koko nih. Tq