What time of year is cocoa harvested?

The cocoa harvest is not confined to one short period but is spread over several months once or twice a year. The timing of the cocoa harvest varies from country to country, depending on the climate and the variety of cocoa. In countries with a pronounced wet and dry season, the main crop occurs 5-6 months after the start of the wet season.

The percentage of crop harvested in the main crop season and the mid-crop season will vary from country to country. The biggest differential between main and mid crop harvests is in Africa where the mid-crop accounts for about 15%-20% of the total harvest; in other countries the differential is not so obvious.

The following table gives an idea of the main and mid crop seasons in selected countries.

Country Main crop Mid crop
Brazil Oct-Mar Jun-Sep
Cameroon Sep-Feb May-Aug
Colombia Apr-Jun Oct-Dec
Congo, Democratic Republic Sep-Mar Apr-Sep
Costa Rica Jul-Feb Mar-Jun
Côte d'Ivoire Oct-Mar May-Aug
Dominican Republic Apr-Jul Oct-Jan
Ecuador Mar-Jun Dec-Jan
Ghana Sep-Mar May-Aug
Grenada Apr-Nov Dec-Mar
Haiti Mar-Jun Jul-Feb
Indonesia Sep-Dec Mar-Jul
Jamaica Dec-Mar Apr-Nov
Liberia Oct-Mar Apr-Sep
Malaysia Oct-Dec Apr-May
Mexico Oct-Feb Mar-Aug
Nigeria Sep-Mar Jun-Aug
Panama Mar-Jun Jul-Feb
Papua New Guinea Apr-Jul Oct-Dec
Sri Lanka Nov-Feb Mar-Oct
Togo Oct-Mar Apr-Sep
Trinidad Dec-Mar Apr-Nov
Venezuela   Mar-Sep


G.A.R. Wood, R.A. Lass, Cocoa. Longman, 4th Edition, 1985)
Cocoa to 1993: a commodity in crisis. Economist Intelligence Unit, 1993, p34
Gordian 57 (1958)






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