Origin of Cocoa
Cocoa, botanically known as being a tropical crop is native to Amazon basin and spread to other countries within 15 degrees on either side of the equator including Mexico, Central America, Caribbean Islands, South America, West Africa and South East Asia where the conditions for growing were ideal. West Africa dominates the world production today followed by South East Asia.
How Cocoa Landed in India
Cadbury initiated cocoa cultivation as a viable cash crop in India through a demonstration farm at Chundale in Wyanad district of Kerala in 1965. Planting of cocoa in India on a commercial scale was taken up from the early 1970’s onwards with Mondelez India Foods Private Limited (Formerly Cadbury India Ltd.) giving the free planting material and technical knowhow to the farming community. Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) started research on cocoa in 1972 and Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) followed in 1979. Mondelez India Foods Private Limited (Formerly Cadbury India Ltd.) has been partnering the research at KAU for the last 20 years. In 2008, we also partnered with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) to help promote cocoa cultivation in the state.
Present cocoa grown Areas
As an intercrop it is presently cultivated in Kerela, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka