• Deeper and richer soils are favorable. The best soils are forest soils rich in humus. A minimum of 3.5 per cent Organic matter in top 15 cm soil is expected for ideal growth.
  • Deep : (i.e., > 1.5 m)
  • Well drained : PH: 6.5 to 7.0 is ideal. However, it thrives on wide range of soil types with PH ranging from 4.5 to 8.0
  • Note: At lower pH ( <5.0) : Less availability of P and toxic quantity of Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn. And at higher ( > 7.0 PH ) Deficiency of trace elements particularly Zn.
    There are three main types of cocoa viz.,

    1) Criollo group :

    • Here pods are red before ripening, varying in shape and turn yellow on ripening. Its fruits have furrows on fruit surface and have rough warty fruit surface.. It is generally poor yielder with slow growing habit and small leaves. It is susceptible to various diseases.
    • Criollo types have very weaker chocolate flavour but may have other flavours and is highly priced by some buyers.

    2) Forestero group :

    • It is the commercially cultivated type of cocoa in major cocoa growing countries. Here pods are green before ripening and turn yellow on ripening. Pods are of smooth surface and have shallow furrows on it. Seeds have dark purple cotyledons and seeds are more or less flat.
    • When compared to Criollo it is more vigorous and high yielder. It has good plane chocolate flavour and good for milk chocolates.

    3) Trinitarios Group of cocoa :

    • It is originally selected from Trinidad. It is heterozenous type probably resulting from Foretero and Criollo cross. It has botanical features of intermediate nature between Criollo and Forestero types. The product of this group is also of intermediate in quality.
    • The cocoa cultivars in different countries vary with the region from which they were introduced and the amount of hybridization. Commercial cocoa has two major varieties,
    • Criollo and Forestero which differ in many aspects as follows.;
  • There are three main types of cocoa viz.,
  • Sl No.






    Plumpy & white when fresh & on fermentation attains cinnamon colour.

    Flat and purple when beans are fresh and turn dark chocolate brown on fermentation.
    turn dark chocolate
    brown  on fermentation


    Plant vigour


    More vigourous than Criollo


    Colour of the pod

    Dark red

    Green when immature  and turn yellow on ripening.
    and turn yellow on

    Other pod characters
    Rough surface, ridges  prominent, pronounced point and thin walled.
    Smooth, inconspicuous ridges, thick walled, melon shaped with rounded end
    Beans per pod
    > 30
    Flavour and aroma and quality
    Mild flavour and pleasant aroma with superior quality and are priced more than that of Forestero types.
    Harsh flavour with bitter taste
    Duration of fermentation
    3 days
    6 days
    Adoptability in India and yield level
    Poor adoptability and low yield and hence discouraged for commercial cultivation
    Adoptable with higher yield level and hence recommended for commercial cultivation  not only in India but also in the entire world.
    Disease reaction
    More susceptible for disease particularly that are caused by Phytophthora palmivora
    Less susceptible
    Other types of cocoa includes

    1) Trinitario: A hybrid between Criollo and Forestero from Trinidad.

    2) Amelonado: A Forestero type bean with a melon shaped pod cultivated in west Africa.

    3 Amazon: Vigourous growing and high yielding type collected from Amazon forests.

  • The accession numbers of I-21, II-11, II-18, II-67, III-5, III-101 from Malaysian collection were having desirable characters like high yield, bean weight of more than one gram and are recommended for cultivation in South India.

Last modified: Thursday, 20 October 2011, 10:06 AM