Disease Management | Planting Material | Technological Applications

Agronomic Practices

cocoa field

Land Preparation

To ensure healthy and productive growth of Theobroma cacao soils must contain coarse particles with reasonable quantity of nutrients to a depth of at least 1.5 metres. This will allow for the development of a healthy root system.

Also desirable is permeable soil beneath this 1.5 m level. If the soil is permeable, excess water can easily drain. Cocoa can withstand waterlogged conditions for short periods but this should not be allowed to linger.

The cocoa tree is also sensitive to lack of water, therefore the selected soil must also have good water retention capacity.

In low lying areas beds and drains should be made to allow for easy drainage during the wet season. Generally on gentle to steep slopes beds are not necessary but drains should be constructed to accommodate surface runoff.


Shade Management

Initially a shading of about 70% is considered ambient for the growth and development of young plants. This is however gradually reduced to approximately 25% for plants over 5 years old.

There are 2 types of shade trees used in the production of cocoa

  • temporary shade
  • permanent shade

Temporary shade is usually provided by bananas whereas permanent shade is provided by immortelle, fruit trees, and timber trees. Shade crops are usually established at least one year before planting of cocoa.


More on Agronomic Practices

Land Preparation | Planting Density