Home to about 40% of West Africa’s rainforests, an environment suitable for agriculture, especially cocoa.
Rumors circulate that the Basel missionaries brought cacáo inland from Cape Palmas in the extreme southeast tip of coastal Liberia. Another supposition posits that Liberians contracted to work in São Tomé returned home with cacáo on board.
Currently 12,500 smallholders practice crop diversification, cacáo among the mix, with plot sizes averaging 1.25 hectares. Growers tend to many trees older than 35 years in age which are less productive. As part of a program to rehabilite or replace them, the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in conjunction with the Int’l Institute of Tropical Agriculture/Sustainable Tree Crops Program (IITA/STCP) & the Liberian govt has developed hybrids of seedlings from Ghana to distribute them in Bong, Lofa & Nimba counties.