At Primo Chocolab, we do not only focus on the chocolate making aspect of production but we also ensure that every step of the our production chain, from farming, to harvesting, to building trust and within our farmer community is at an absolute the highest possible quality. One of the most significant factors contributing to excellent cacao harvests is the soil, its health, and its quality. This is what we will focus on with today's blog.
Soil is not just a medium for the crop to be grown in but is also where nutrients, water, and minerals are stored for the plants to absorb and flourish. Thus, an essential aspect of farming is soil upkeep (Correcting soil acidity, adding organic matter, and at the same time decreasing the population of pathogens as well as non-beneficial fungi).
Another determining factor in cocoa soils is the humic layer of the earth, which degrades very quickly when the ground is exposed to the sun and the environment in general, causing problems leading to salinization, destruction of beneficial microorganisms, and decreased fertility. Hence, enriching it with products rich in organic matter, in this case, humus.
We make sure our suppliers use Terra, a Novelgro product. Terra is a humus concentrate containing humic and fulvic acids that restore and improve soil fertility and offer benefits like ion exchange. Terra increases the amount of organic matter in the soil that facilitates the absorption of nutrients, which is reflected in the harvest of the fruits, in our case, cacao pods. Overall generating higher yields, bigger pods, and more beans.
Terra also encourages more leaf spread and a higher volume of roots allowing the plant to absorb more water and nutrients. Stronger roots also will enable the plant to reach moisture deeper down in the ground, mitigating competition from a possible yield bottleneck and making the plant more resistant to drought.
More leaf area allows for a greater photosynthesis rate, which means that the plant produces more sugar and starch, which play an essential role in developing a deep aroma and flavour in the harvested beans.