The cocoa bean (technically cocoa seed) or simply cocoa , also called the cacao bean (technically cacao seed) or cacao, is the dried and fully fermented seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids (a mixture of nonfat substances) and cocoa butter (the fat) can be extracted.
Cocoa beans are the basis of chocolate, and Mesoamerican foods including tejate, an indigenous Mexican drink that also includes maize, and pinolillo, a similar Nicaraguan drink made from a cornmeal & cocoa powder.
The cacao tree is native to the Amazon rainforest. It was first domesticated 5,300 years ago, in equatorial South America, before being introduced in Central America by the Olmecs (Mexico).
More than 4,000 years ago, it was consumed by pre-Hispanic cultures along the Yucatán, including the Maya, and as far back as Olmeca civilization in spiritual ceremonies.
It also grows in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, in Colombia and Venezuela. Wild cacao still grows there.
Its range may have been larger in the past; evidence of its wild range may be obscured by cultivation of the tree in these areas since long before the Spanish arrived.
Government of Ghana has announced GH¢660 as farm-gate price for a bag of 64kg of cocoa for the 2021/2022 crop season.
The announcement was made at a news conference in Accra by Hon. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture and Chairman of the Producer Price Review Committee.
Hon. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said in spite of the fall in the world market price of cocoa, among other factors, such as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, Government has maintained the producer price at Gh¢10,560.00 per tonne, representing 87.15 % of the FOB value, as a demonstration of its commitment towards improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers.
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