The Origin of Cameroon’s Cocoa Beans

Cameroon, or the Republic of Cameroon, is a state located in central Africa. It used to be a German colony. Economically speaking, it is one of the most prosperous countries in Africa. One of the natural resources that strengthens its economy is cocoa. Indeed, Cameroon is one of the countries that cultivates cocoa or Theobroma cacao. The latter is a tree that provides cocoa beans. It is obtained from roasting almonds found in the fruit or pod. But, while most African countries grow forestero cocoa trees, Cameroon grows a different type. 

Cameroonian Cocoa

The variety of cocoa found in Cameroon is called trinitario. This a hybrid of two kinds of cocoa, criollo and forastero. It’s a tasty grain that contains qualities from both kinds. It appeared around the 19th century on the island of Trinidad, hence its name. The cocoa obtained from this tree is of very high quality. Its pod has a wide variety of colors, containing an irregular number of beans. The latter, meanwhile, are dark brown, with a more or less rounded shape and regular size.

This variety of cocoa’s taste is characterized by fruity notes and a lively aroma. It is slightly bitter, with some acidity. Normally, trinitario cocoa is considered to make high quality dark chocolate, but Cameroon’s trinitario is generally classified as a bulk product of ordinary quality. The main harvest takes place between September and October. But it can sometimes extend until January through March, depending on production.

Cameroonian Cocoa’s Place in the World Market

Cocoa is an integral part of Cameroon‘s economy. The country has natural agricultural resources, such as cocoa and honey, forestry, oil, and mining, such as cobalt and diamond. Most of these products are exported. In the case of cocoa, 90% of production is exported to the common markets. The Netherlands buys 50%, France buys 30% and the United States takes about 10% of production. But the problem with Cameroonian cocoa is that 45% of their product is classified as ordinary while only 13% of the product is considered to be of superior quality. Nevertheless, the country currently ranks fifth in the world in cocoa production.

Cocoa is one of the main commodities of Cameroon’s economy. That’s why many of its farmers have turned to this crop.