Côte d’Ivoire tops the list of the largest producers of cocoa in Africa and in the world in general, this nation is responsible for 30% of the world’s cocoa. Côte d’Ivoire is closely followed by Ghana. Together these two countries accounts for over 60% of global cocoa production.
Other African nations that are top producers of cocoa include Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda.
Top 10 Highest Producers of Cocoa in Africa, 2024
Here are the top 10 cocoa producing countries in Africa according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
1. Ivory Coast
The Ivory Coast is by far the largest cocoa producing country in Africa and the world; supplying over 30% of the world’s cocoa beans at 2,200,000 tonnes in 2021/2022. The cocoa industry is hugely important to the economy of the country as it accounts for 40.2% of its export income and employs approximately 600,000 farmers; 6 million people also rely on the industry to survive.
The growth of the cocoa industry in Ivory Coast hasn’t come without its struggles. They have had to deal with mass deforestation and child labour. But the good news is that they have signed a pact with ‘their fellow Cocoa heavyweight‘ Ghana to prevent any further deforestation for the cocoa industry, end child labour and to improve the interests of the farmers.
Ghana is the second biggest cocoa producing country in West Africa, Africa and the world in general, with an annual production of approximately 1,100,000 tonnes in 2021/2022.
Cocoa is the main cash crop of Ghana taking up an estimated 1.9 million hectares of land and supporting over 800,000 people that make a living out of the sector.
More than 70% of their cocoa are exported to Europe and America and a quarter of it are processed within the country. But things are set to change as Ghana have announced plans to increase the local processing of their own beans to 50% with a partnership with China and the opening of a new $60 million factory.
Cocoa is the largest agricultural export for Africa’s most populous country Nigeria, supporting 300,000 farmers and taking up 800,000 hectares of land. Nigeria produced 340,000 tonnes of cocoa in 2021/2022 representing around 2 percent of the country’s exports. The regions that predominantly grow cocoa include Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Ekiti and they produce 60 percent of the country’s total output.
Nigeria was formerly the second biggest producer of cocoa in the world, but things changed with the discovery of large amounts of crude oil.
Cameroon is the fourth largest cocoa producing country in Africa with an annual production of approximately 290,000 tonnes. The sector is vitally important to the country as it is the second largest source of foreign currency and supplies jobs to over 600,000 people.
Cocoa is Uganda’s fourth-biggest commodity export after coffee, tea and fish. Cocoa production in Uganda has seen a steady increase over the last few years. with an annual production of approximately 35,000 metric tons, Uganda is the fifth highest producer of cocoa in Africa.
Although significant number of smallholder farmers in Liberia are engaged in cocoa production, Liberia is overall still a small cocoa producing country, with an annual production of approximately 14,000 metric tons of cocoa beans.
Madagascan cocoa is currently considered some of the best available cocoa world wide. With an annual production of approximately 12,500 metric tons of cocoa beans, the country only accounts for roughly 0.5% of the world cocoa production and is the seventh highest cocoa producing country in Africa.
The majority of Guineans work in the agriculture sector, which employs approximately 75% of the country. With an annual production of approximately 12,000 metric tons of cocoa beans, Guinea is the eighth highest producer of cocoa in Africa.
9. Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is overall still a small cocoa producing country, with an annual production of approximately 11,500 metric tons of cocoa beans.
Cocoa beans are the country’s fifth biggest export, with the bulk destined for the Netherlands. Other export markets include Belgium, the US, Italy and Malaysia.
Sierra Leone exported $33.2m in cocoa beans in 2019, making it the 17th largest cocoa bean exporter in the world.
Togo is among the smallest countries in Africa, but possesses valuable phosphate deposits and a well-developed export sector based on agricultural products such as coffee; cocoa bean; and peanuts (groundnuts), which together generate roughly 30% of export earnings. With an annual production of approximately 10,000 metric tons of cocoa beans, the country is the tenth highest producer of cocoa in Africa.
|Cocoa Production (Metric Tons)