Top 5 Cocoa-Producing Countries In Africa

Cocoa beans are produced in tropical zones around the Equator, where climate conditions are well suited for growing cocoa trees. Although cocoa beans originate from South America, most of cocoa bean production is attributed to Africa. 

In 2019/2020, Africa’s cocoa bean production amounted to around 3.5 million tons. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the world’s cocoa production comes from West Africa, with Ivory Coast leading production at over 2.2 million tonnes, and nearby Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Togo producing additional 1.55 million tonnes.

In 2019, the Ivory Coast alone produced approximately 2.1 million metric tons of cocoa beans. The nation is expected to produce a similar volume of cocoa beans during the 2021/2022 crop year.

Below are the top 5 cocoa-producing countries in Africa in 2021. 

1. Ivory Coast

Located in West Africa, Ivory Coast is the largest cocoa producer globally, producing about 2.2 million metric tons of cocoa beans annually. Ivory Coast overtook Ghana as the world’s leading producer of cocoa beans in 1978, and today is highly dependent on the crop, which accounts for 40% of national export income.

2. Ghana

Ghana is the second-largest cocoa exporter in the world, after Ivory Coast. In 2020/2021, Ghana is estimated to have produced about 1 million metric tons of cocoa beans, the most ever produced by the country. However, this is expected to decrease in 2021/2022 due to the global price of cocoa beans fluctuating yearly.

3. Nigeria

Ranked as the fourth-largest producer in the world after Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia, cocoa remains a relevant cash crop in Nigeria and is mainly produced by small-scale farmers in the country’s southwest region. Despite the rapid growth in its production and positive impact on the nation’s economy, cocoa production has been witnessing a drastic reduction when compared with the percentage of the population involved in agriculture since the discovery of crude oil in the country.

4. Cameroon

With a production level between 230,000 and 290,000 tons per year over the last decade, Cameroon is currently the fifth-largest cocoa producer in the world. It exports around 75% of its production as raw beans, which are produced mainly by small-scale farmers located in forest areas and more in savannah areas. Cocoa is an important source of State revenue and economic activity in rural areas.

5. Uganda

Cocoa is Uganda’s fourth-biggest commodity export after coffee, tea and fish. According to data from the Uganda Export Promotion Board, cocoa production in Uganda has seen a steady increase over the last few years, with over 30,000 tonnes of cocoa beans produced per year.

Based on popular demand, Uganda’s cocoa is competitive on the international market, because it’s organic and possesses fine-flavour cocoa beans that are ideal for processing some of the best chocolate in the world.


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