Cocoa Life In India

Our heritage in India - dating back to 1965 when Cadbury introduced the first cocoa tree to the country - has led to cocoa growing communities calling the crop the Cadbury tree. Over the years, Mondelēz India has reached 100,000 farmers by distributing planting materials, providing good agricultural practices and other sustainability interventions. Building on Cadbury’s existing partnerships, Cocoa Life currently works with more than 25,000 farmers in farming communities.

Over 25,000
Farmers currently participating in Cocoa Life
More than 30
Cocoa Life regions
Kerala Agricultural University - Cocoa Life’s research partner
Cocoa Life team members

Although cocoa is a non-native crop to India, it has become an important crop in the multi-crop farming model alongside the planting of banana or coconut on the same land. We want to ensure cocoa continues to be a viable crop for farmers that generates income and therefore continuously invest in research and productivity interventions. We’re working with local agricultural universities to implement programs that focus on inter-cropping models, Good Environmental Practices and Good Agricultural Practices; all of which protect against deforestation and maximize benefits from the available land.

Cocoa Life India implements community engagement approaches, focused on empowering and training women in cocoa farming, finance and health as well as supporting tribal farmers in remote locations to create their own cocoa businesses and improve their livelihoods. Cocoa Life’s investment also focuses on improving infrastructure in rural schools, including the construction or renovation of bathrooms and access to drinking water.

"In India, we have been working with cocoa farmers for almost 60 years and are proud to have shaped the history of cocoa farming in the country. Today, the Cocoa Life program in India works with over 25,000 cocoa farmers and their communities to focus our social, economic and environmental interventions on what is needed to create a sustainable supply of cocoa. A unique feature here is that cocoa is grown as an intercrop in coconut, oil palm and areca farms that can help growers’ double their income while protecting the environment. We also place particular focus on empowering women and tribal farmers in rural areas by providing them with tailored interventions to grow their cocoa sustainably. Public-private partnerships are critical for cocoa growing at scale - and we’re passionate about working closely with the government, our partners and farmers to create a thriving cocoa sector."

Roopak Bhat, Head of Cocoa Life India

Roopak Bhat
A Story On Women's Empowerment In India
"I feel a sense of achievement whenever i think about how the plants we raise have been planted across many Farms in the State."

By M. Kumari, cocoa worker in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh

The Cocoa Life program in India supplies seedlings and technical guidance to farmers. The resulting economic development builds prosperity in this region. Cocoa Life also provides support to marginalized tribal communities by introducing cocoa cultivation and training programs for women farmers. M. Kumari, a cocoa worker in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, provides her thoughts:

I have been working for many years on the cocoa crop, particularly in the nursery. Before I started working in the cocoa nursery, I was unable to get regular employment. Life used to be very difficult. But today, the cocoa nursery provides me with continuous employment. I am very proud to be a part of the seedlings production program. I feel a sense of achievement whenever I think about how the plants we raise have been planted across many farms in the state. This program has also created excellent employment opportunities for other women workers. In fact, I like to consider this a “woman-friendly crop,” as most cocoa-farming operations can be performed by women. As cocoa provides regular employment in the nurseries and farms for women workers, this crop has ensured a steady flow of income, which has benefitted our families immensely. I have high hopes and dreams for my children's futures because of this crop and the support of Cocoa Life.