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Cocoa trees only grow close to the equator
Cocoa trees are quite fragile – they grow only between 20° north and 20° south. They do well in temperatures of 20°C to 32°C and like plenty of rainfall. They are relatively small trees that like some shade and humidity so are therefore found on the lower level of evergreen rain forests.
There aren’t many places in the world where the conditions are right to grow cocoa. Well over half the world’s total production is grown in two West African countries – Côte d’Ivoire (39%) and Ghana (19%). Other countries which produce significant quantities are Indonesia (13%), Nigeria (5%), Cameroon (5%) and Ecuador (3%).
Most cocoa farming is small scale. Around 95% of cocoa is grown in smallholdings of less than four hectares (10 acres) and is typically a family enterprise, much as it was 100 years ago. The whole process of growing, harvesting and drying the beans is usually not mechanised.
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