Cocoa beans : The origin of Madagascar cocoa
Cocoa beans : the first cocoa tree introduced in Madagascar dated from the 1900s. The colonial plantations of Madagascar produced at the time 120 tons of cocoa beans. The Criollo variety claims the major part of these cocoa plants.
Ten years later, another variety of Cocoa beans in the name of Forastero came to the island. Brought by French missionaries and colonists, this cocoa bean type signs his name in Madagascar as Tamatave, of average quality. This variety claims more profitable and more resistant. Then, farmers carried out a series of crosses. They obtained the Trinitario variety which combines the strength and productivity of Forastero with the flavor and aromatic quality of Criollo. About 30% of the cocoa produced in the Grande Île come from this hybrid variety.
Labeled “Fine Cocoa” by the Internation Cocoa Organization (ICCO), Madagascar cocoa beans ranked among the best in the world. With an acid flavor, this cocoa seduces the world’s greatest chocolate makers. Surely thanks to its unique and original taste. Today, Madagascar’s annual cocoa production reaches 6,000 tons. 95% of this total comes from the plantations of the South West, particularly in the region of DIANA and Sambirano.
Between 1900 and 1940, Madagascar exports cocoa beans to the European zone. Only since 1937 that transformation of a part of the products started . The first local chocolate factory sees its first day. In addition to that, the harvest periods extend throughout the year. Local cocoa beans production knows peaks in the months of June to November. However, strengthening the production system will improve yields from small farmers (which supply 80% of total production).
The economy of the country in relation to the cocoa / chocolate industry
The annual world cocoa demand reaches about 1,500,000 tons. Madagascar, known as small scale producer produces only 6,000 tons. However, the Madagascar cocoa bean industry has major impacts on the country’s economic development. Indeed, recent studies claim that 15% of the state’s income comes mainly from the export crop.
The country imporves its economy in part thanks to Chocolate processing companies active contribution. Indeed, they gradually penetrate the European and American markets, which generates a considerable income. The chocolates produced by these companies (100% local cocoa products) sells well in luxury boutiques abroad, and even win awards internationally.
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