Climate and Microclimatic requirement
  • Cocoa is a tropical crop. In its natural habitat cocoa is a small tree in the lower storey\under storey of the evergreen tropical forest of South America. The tree can not withstand high winds drought and sudden fall in temperature. The microclimatic environment around the cocoa plants consists of a high humidity at all times. It prefers high temperature under partially shaded situation.

    Latitude :

      20º N and 20 º S but maximum concentration is between 10º N and 10 º S


      Temperature range of 15 to 39º C with a an optimum temperature of 25 º is considered ideal. Temperature below 10 º C and annuall average temperature is less than 21 ºC. Cocoa responds well to high temperature ( 30 ºC to 32 ºC) than lower temperature.

    Rainfall :

      In the absence of irrigation facilities minimum requirement of rainfall is about 150-200 cm per year. Ideally cocoa requires a minimum of 90-100mm rainfall per month with an annual precipitation of 150 -200 cm. Rainfall can be supplemented with irrigation during dry periods.

    Altitude :

      Preferably below 300 M asl. However, it can be grown up to 900m.

    Relative Humidity :

      It prefers hot and humid atmosphere ( > 80 % through out the year) is essential for optimum development of cocoa trees. Humidity has to be maintained near saturation.
    Microclimatic requirement
  • Cocoa needs sunlight to be screened to a certain extent particularly during dry weather period. Cocoa is a under storey crop of Amaon fores of S.America.
  • It can be profitably cultivated where 50 % of light is available. In India, coconut and arecanut plantations are best suited for cocoa cultivation.
  • Under arecanut 30-50 percent of sunlight penetrates through the canopy, which can be intercepted by cocoa.
  • Shade can not limit cocoa production when all other environment factors are favorable viz.,

    ? Optimum temperature : 30-32 º C

    ? Excellent average RH :

    ? Optimum rainfall

    ? Humus rich soil enriched with fertilizer etc.

Last modified: Thursday, 20 October 2011, 9:34 AM