I cannot imagine a world without chocolate. Dating back to the history of chocolates to 1900 BCE to 15000 BCE, cocoa beans were used as medicine. Due to its aroma and rarity, it became an expensive commodity and was used as a form of currency. I completely get that! That’s what this world needs right now, an app for paying with chocolates. Being used as a primary ingredient in making chocolates, cocoa beans are grown by more than 40 – 50 farmers across the globe. Now, for the rest of you who thought chocolates came from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory and is made by Oompa – Loompas, here’s the actual scene.
Where did cocoa beans originate from?
The coca beans largest variety is called Theobroma Tree. The Theobroma tree originated at the upper Amazon Basin. That would be Brazil, Colombia and Peru. Cote d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast in Western Africa is a leading cocoa bean producer. Every chocolate bar sold worldwide contains 10% of Ivorian cocoa bean in it. 50% of the world’s cocoa beans are produced in Ivory Coast and Ghana. Combining 70% of the world’s cocoa beans from the Ivory coast, Nigeria, Cameron, and Ghana. Ecuador alone produces 63% of cocoa beans. Only 5% is exported. Which makes the chocolate from Ecuador the rarest and high quality.
In Asia, Indonesia is the leading producer of cocoa beans. A few Central American regions grow cocoa beans in small quantities. Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana are to thank for this. Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, and the Caribbean are among the producers of cocoa beans. Research shows that, 90% of cocoa is grown in private gardens. Only the rest comes from farmers across the world.
The Ivory Coast in the (Republic of Cote d’Ivorie)
Being the largest producer of cocoa beans on the globe, the Ivory Coast has been seen gaining larger clients and attracting investments and tourists from many other countries. Abidjan is the ‘Economic Capital’ of Ivory Coast. The attempt to help the farmers are being made by diplomatic ties. The world’s largest cocoa farm is in Ivory Coast.
The city center is a hot spot of urban activities, from beautiful Cathedrals to the largest cocoa farmlands, Ivory coast is the best place to travel with your kids. Producing more than 2 million tons each year. A bag of cocoa beans costs between US$ 2.21 and US$ 2.13 per kilogram or between US$ 1 and US$ 0.97 per pound (lb). A bag of chocolates is more expensive than a bag of raw cocoa beans. From coffee, rubber, cashew and a tad bit of oil, Ivory Coast a is bucket list travel destination.
Top 5 Places to see in Ivory Coast
Marvel at their Capital
Yamoussourko is the capital of Ivory Coast. The place is nothing but a wonder. With an upbeat vibe of mosques, bustling markets, shopping complexes and the grand palace of the president, Yamoussaourko is a must-see place if you are in the ivory coast. The Basilicata of the lady of peace, recorded as the largest church in the world, and the grand mosque of Yamoussourko with extricated internal design is worth all your time.
Place a visit to Man
In the central region of Ivory Coast is a gem of land, that cradles bamboo forest that is said to be home to species of insects and butterflies. The man also hosts a cascading waterfall Les Cascades de Man that will raise your spirits up just like itself.
Catch a glimpse of Ivorian coastal tradition at Bouake
What attracted me to this place is the diversity. The city is neighbored by Guinea, Ghana, and the Atlantic coast. Being the second largest city in Ivory Coast, this place has a history of politics. With markets, crafts, culture, plantations, and tourist attractions, Bouake has a little bit of everything in it. A must-see place if you like variety and want to see a fusion of it.
Experience the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve
[Photo Credit – UNESCO]
As the name suggests, this reserve nearing south Guinea, this reserve is home to a variety of rare species of insects, animals, toads, butterflies, etc. you can have a walk in the park. UNESCO says this is an important nature reserve in all of West Africa.
Pay a visit to Tai National park
Declared as a world heritage site in 1982 , Tai national park is home to the largest areas of the primary rain forests of West Africa. The park is famous for being extremely diverse in Flora and Fauna. It is also home to the engaged species such as pygmy hippopotamus, leopards, olive colobus monkeys, and Jentink’s duiker. Tai National Park is a best tourist destination in Ivory Cost and the whole of West Africa.
How to reach?
The Abidjan International airport has connecting flights across the country. The airport is 12 kms from the city center. You can reach there by sea from Abidjan port.
World’s oldest chocolate was made 5300 years ago in Santa Ana -La in Florida. A pottery work shows people making a brew made of cocoa, which is the oldest recorded use of cocoa.
Largest importers of cocoa beans
The global North has a history of making money from other nations. When it comes to agriculture, its disheartening to know about the income of cocoa farmers. Anyways, the cocoa beans after sold by the farmers is still not ready for used. It needs to be processed. The beans are crushed and the shells are removed, roasted, and finally ground. The result – cocoa liquor, that is used to manufacture chocolate. It is is further processed for cocoa butter and cocoa powder. Here is a list of the largest importer countries of cocoa.
Netherlands – 20% of the world imports ($1.93 billion)
USA – 13.5% ($1.3 billion)
Malaysia – 12.5% ($1.2 billion)
Germany – 7.9% ($759 million)
Indonesia – 6.42% ($616 million)
France – 4.99% ($479 million)
Other than chocolate, cocoa is used for many different forms such as cosmetics, juice, syrups, flavors and also medicine.