Cocoa in the Ivory Coast
Cocoa in the Ivory Coast

Flavors of Ivory Coast

All About Chocolate > Cocoa in Ivory Coast - the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa

Every day, jute sacks filled with cocoa beans are loaded at the port of Abidjan.

Houphouët-Boigny, a traditional Baoulé chief, doctor and cocoa planter, pushed the Ivory Coast towards independence. This prophet-president held his post for 13 years.

Despite the independence achieved in 1960, the vicious circle of cocoa continues, beginning each year on the first of October, a day of great importance on the Ivory Coast stock exchange. It marks both the beginning of the cocoa harvest as well as the return to school.

For planters who have sold most of their harvest in the spring, the income from their beans is already a distant memory. The purchase of pesticides and fertilizers swallows up the last of the banknotes that were set aside in the bottom of a jar. The "Ivory Coast miracle" is often praised by those who learn that the country is the world's largest exporter of raw cocoa, but for the planter or worker who harvests the pods, the remuneration is meagre. 400,000 people live off the coffee and cocoa cultivation that covers 2.5 million hectares, of which 1.5 million are small family plantations.

Every harvest time, thanks to the Delbau company, the small family plantations supply a network of purchasing centres in the country's interior that includes an industrial unit with a 35,000 tonne cocoa processing capacity, built in 1987 at Soubré, in the heart of the country's main cocoa producing region.

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