With the demand for cocoa increasing in the international and domestic markets, this crop is gaining attention among farmers now.

A Kishore Kumar Kodgi, President of the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco), told businessline that there has been an increase in the enquiries for the supply of cocoa saplings this year.

The cooperative had supplied around 20,000 saplings to its grower-members in 2023. This year, he said, the demand for saplings has increased to 75,000 from the growers. Based on these enquiries, the cooperative is working with some nurseries to supply cocoa saplings to its grower-members.

Apart from the traditional cocoa-growing regions along some parts of coastal and Malnad Karnataka, farmers from places such as Tumakuru and Davanagere are also showing interest this year to take up cocoa cultivation, he said.

Rise in prices

Meanwhile, the price of cocoa has seen an increase in the domestic market. Campco offered a maximum of ₹170 a kg for wet cocoa beans and a maximum of ₹580 a kg for dry cocoa beans on June 17. On June 10, it had bought wet cocoa beans in the price range of ₹120-160 a kg and dry cocoa beans at ₹500-540 a kg.

On June 14, September US cocoa futures closed at $9,719 a tonne and July London cocoa futures closed at £8837 a tonne.

In April, the price of the crop had hit an all-time high of $12,000 a tonne in the international market. In fact, Campco had offered a maximum of ₹960 a kg for dry cocoa beans and ₹320 a kg for wet cocoa beans by the end of April.

A year ago, the domestic price for cocoa was around ₹55 a kg for wet cocoa beans and around ₹220 a kg for dry cocoa beans.

Quoting sources, a recent Reuters report said that Ghana, which is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world, is looking to delay delivery of up to 3,50,000 tonnes of beans to the global market to next season due to poor crops. It said Ghana pre-sold some 7,85,000 tonnes worth of cocoa beans for the 2023-24 (October-September) season, but will likely only be able to deliver some 4,35,000 tonnes.

Cocoa cultivation in Ghana has been affected by adverse weather conditions, disease and illegal gold mining that often displaces cocoa farms, it said.

Ghana and Ivory Coast together constitute nearly 60 per cent of the total global cocoa production.