Cocoa: Introduction

This paper attempts to discuss some of the important agronomic and agricultural practices such as choice of planting materials, nursery practices, planting systems, shade/light requirements, shade management systems, pruning, weed control and fertilizer requirements in a seedling cocoa estate. Major pest and disease problems are also highlighted. A short note on economics is also presented at the outset.

The area under cocoa cultivation in Malaysia increased nearly four folds between 1978 and 1984 while production increased by about 6 times for the same period. Planted areas increased from about 57,000 hectares in 1978 to about 226,000 hectares in 1984 while dry bean production increased from about 15,000 tonnes to about 92,000 tonnes for the corresponding period. (UPAM 1984 Annual Report)

As a result of the rapid and large scale development in cocoa cultivation, agronomic and agricultural practices in cocoa estates have also undergone some changes. The cocoa industry in Sabah also had to cope with a new pest, Conopomorpha cramerella , the notorious cocoa pod borer since it was first reported in 1980. More recently, Vascular Streak Dieback (VSD) has emerged as a major disease in Sabah causing large scale planting failures and also crop losses.

Ooi L.H. and Chew P.S. 1985. Some important agronomic and agricultural practices in cocoa  estates. TDMB Plantation Management Seminar, Kuala Trengganu

Note: The full list of references quoted in this article is available from the above paper.