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Updated: Mar 11

Native to South and Central America, and indeed, readily found in the wild there till date.

Very much like the 9th century Viking legend, Rollo (real name Hrolf Ganger) who did not attain his maximum potential until he reached a foreign land i.e. Frankia (now known as France) where he became ruler of Normandy and eventually sired all the current European monarchs....including that of UK.

Statue of Rollo in Falaise , France (Photo Credit:

Voyaging through Europe, USA, West Indies and Asia from 1502 till the 1800s, it eventually berthed in far-away West Africa in the 19th century, where it supremely thrived more than anywhere else and ironically helped foreign corporations such as Mondelez International , Mars, Nestle, Ferrero, Hershey and others to create an industry worth $254b per annum!

That swedish man must have had a crystal ball when he named it "Food of the gods" in 1753.

The Big African Four (BAF) i.e. Cote d’ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria jointly produce circa 70-75% of the world’s cocoa but earn a combined $9b plus yearly which is a paltry fraction (< 5%) of the $254b.

The Cocoa Belt of West Africa featuring Cote D' Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. (Photo Credit:

Cote d’ivoire, the unassuming “oga” of cocoa production globally—with output more than twice as large as that of its nearest competitor i.e. Ghana—earns about $4b per annum.

Cocoa farmers in Cote D'Ivoire (Photo Credit:

That $4b is the equivalent of what, on average, Nigerians spend on overseas tuition per year, according to Olayemi Cardoso, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria! We will discuss this in detail in another edition.

Why did the Cocoa tree thrive in West Africa more than it did its ancestral home of South America and everywhere else?

Cocoa is at its awesome best in the tropics within 20 degrees latitude from the equator. Cultivate the Cocoa Trees at temperatures outside 18–32°C and prepare for a nail-biting, head-scratching experience. Humidity also plays a major role in disease control and harvest quality.

While west Africa offers the best chance of having preferred temperatures and humidity all year round, it is not guaranteed.

Fortunately, Caspian’s agritech solutions automate detection and remediation of such weather and soil conditions towards optimal crop health, disease/pest control and harvest improvement. We can also automate irrigation to reduce waste of water—especially during harmattan—and ensure uniform year-round harvest.

Furthermore, with data analytics, we can offer unprecedented insights about your farms to support overall resource optimization plus cost and labour reduction.

Animal farms are not left out!

We can remotely monitor your cattle, sheep, chicken etc to detect location, food intake, temperature etc. These information can help detect potentially sick animals & lead to timely isolation and treatment, which can prevent contagion, desolation and sunk investment.

So how can the BAF retain more value from this magnificent industry? What is the magic in chocolate confectionery production and exportation that eludes them?

Our consulting team can help you turn latent potential into realised gains from your cocoa enterprise. Our in-depth knowledge of the cocoa value chain and global trade alloyed with our data-driven approach will open doors you perhaps never knew existed.

At Caspian, we straddle ICT and consulting and readily deploy them to transform your business(es). Call us today on +234-904-CASPIAN (+234-904-2277426) or email us on or

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