Growing Money on Trees in Latin America: Growth Rates for Cocoa 1961-2013 and Their Implications for Industry

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Despite being the center of origin for cocoa, cocoa cultivation and use, Latin America witnessed only modest increases in output, area harvested and yields for this commodity during the last half century. However, these long-term trends mask a diverse array of booms, then busts for cocoa in many parts of the region. Recent years have seen a run-up in international prices, the diffusion of improved varieties and the launching of various public-private alliances to improve cocoa productivity, quality and incomes. This paper analyses these and other important developments at both the regional and country level over the last five decades. In so doing it seeks to provide a more nuanced assessment of regional developments for cocoa as well as highlight important implications for industry.

Gregory J. Scott
American-Eurasian Journal for Agricultural & Environmental Science