How much time does it take for a cocoa tree to become productive?

The land needs to be cleared and prepared before planting cocoa seedlings and then cocoa trees take 3-5 years to yield a crop, with hybrid varieties providing crops earlier. But cocoa trees should be productive for about 25 years.

The age at which a tree is first harvested does not influence production during the life of the tree. Many other factors such as maintenance, variety of cocoa tree, weather etc. have more effect on production during the life of the tree than the time of first harvest.

Wood, G.A.R. and Lass, R.A., Cocoa. Longman, 4th edition, 1985
Mossu, G. Cocoa. CTA/Macmillan Press, 1992
Dand, R., The International Cocoa Trade. Woodhead Publishing, 1993

ICCO Secretariat

International Cocoa Organization
Westgate House
London W5 1YY
United Kingdom

Tel:  +44 (0)20 8991 6000
Fax: +44 (0)20 8997 4372
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ICCO Agreements

The ICCO International Cocoa Agreement is available to download in Acrobat PDF format.

Go to the ICCO Agreements page

ICCO Membership Procedure

The procedures for becoming a member of the International Cocoa Organization are provided in Articles 52 to 57 of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010.

How to Become an ICCO Member - International Cocoa Agreement 2010