Cocoa Production Continues Growth

Farmers around the world produced more than 4.3 million tons of cocoa in 2008, the latest year with data available, a growth of more than 3.6 percent over the year before.1 Production has increased some 44 percent over the last 10 years.2 (See Figure 1.) The amount of land dedicated to cocoa harvests declined slightly in 2008 to 8.1 million hectares, but total area has increased nearly 25 percent in the last decade.3 (See Figure 2.)

Cocoa production is confined to rainy, tropical equatorial locations within 20 degrees of the equator.4 Cocoa is used predominantly as a food product (such as chocolate and cocoa powder), although it is also used in cosmetics and other products.5

Africa dominates cocoa production, and Western Africa alone produced some 62 percent of the global crop in 2008.6 Within the region, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are the leaders, at 32 percent and 16 percent of global production respectively.7 (See Table 1.)

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