Cocoa is an important crop in Ghana, where it is grown on small family farms. The average farm size is just 2-4 hectares. Most farmers grow cocoa as a mixed crop along with other food crops such as plantain, yams and maize.
Cocoa trees need a hot, humid climate with rainfall of at least 1500mm per year. They are usually grown under a canopy of taller trees which provide shade and protect the cocoa trees from the wind.
The main cocoa-growing regions in Ghana are the forest areas of the south and the coastal areas of the west.
Cocoa farming is labour intensive. The main tasks are clearing the land, planting the cocoa trees, weeding, harvesting and processing the cocoa beans.
Clearing the land is done by hand with machetes. The cocoa trees are planted at the start of the rainy season. Farmers need to weed their cocoa farms regularly to keep the cocoa trees healthy and to stop the weeds