Dharampuri (Tamil Nadu), Aug 20 (ANI): India's exports of cocoa to the international market have reached 60 to 70 percent of the total output.
More than 2,500 hectares of land is currently under cultivation in Tamil Nadu's Dharmapuri District.
"Dharmapuri district is selected for implementing National Horticulture Mission. Under National Horticulture Mission, we are promoting various crops, fruits, flowers, vegetables and plantation crops. Under the plantation crop, we promote this cocoa," said Murugan, Assistant Director of the Horticulture Mission of Dharmapuri.
Cocoa fruits have great value as they are used in various processed foods and have medicinal value.
"Major cocoa producing states in India are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. We export nearly 60 to 70 percent of the requirements. The cocoa is mainly cultivated for making chocolates, food products, beverages and to some extent, medicinal requirements," said Murugan.
The state government has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the chocolate firm Cadbury Dairy, India.
Cocoa growers are also happy as they can easily grow this seasonal crop between their coconut gardens and do not need separate plots of land. They also get a subsidy of Rs 20,000 per hectare from the Horticulture Mission. By S. Jaykumar(ANI)