“Though much of the consumption of cocoa occurs in the mid-latitudes, the production is confined largely to West Africa, eastern part of Brazil and the Caribbean mainland and islands.” Discuss focussing on location factors.
Cocoa is a truly tropical plant and most of the producing areas lie below 1000 metres elevation. Cocoa tree grows best in areas of hot and humid climate. It needs a temperature of about 27°C in shade and the temperature should never fall below 16°C even at night. Also the seasonal range of temperature should be low. The tree requires for a healthy growth a rainfall of about 125 cm or more with no prolonged dry season. Well-drained, deep, porous soils are ideal. Both direct sun and strong winds are harmful. The cocoa trees are therefore grown in the shade of large trees. Due to its climatic requirements, most of the cocoa growing areas are confined to within 20° latitudes from the equator.
Cocoa is an important cash crop of West African countries mainly because of the geographical conditions met for its optimal production. It is grown in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Cameroon in Africa. Despite being a plantation crop, Cocoa is grown in Ghana by small holders. In Ghana, the largest area of concentration of this crop is the Cocoa Triangle formed by the towns of Accra, Kumsai and Takoradi.
In South America, the chief producers of cocoa are Brazil, Ecuador and the Caribbean Islands and mainland. The Amazon Basin in Brazil was formerly the most outstanding region in terms of production but the production here has decreased drastically.