Land Suitability Evaluation and Economic Feasibility of Cocoa Farming
Keywords:cocoa, land suitability, economic feasibility of cocoa
An evaluation of land suitability for cocoa cultivation was carried out in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, according to its climatic conditions, as well as physical, morphological, and chemical soil characteristics. Land suitability evaluation is essential since cocoa production correlates positively with land characteristics. Purposive sampling with a survey method was used in this study. There were 11 sampling locations, comprising eight and three villages in North Kolaka and East Kolaka, respectively. Results showed that land suitability class for cocoa cultivation in North Kolaka is S2 (suitable) at 1,721 hectares in Pumbolo village and S1 (very suitable) in the other seven sampling locations, covering an area of 7,018 hectares in Rante Baru, Lasusua, Koroha, Watunohu, Lelehao, Tambuha, and Puurau village. Land suitability for cocoa production in all sampling locations in East Kolaka is S2 (suitable), covering an area of 11,213 hectares in Poli-Polia, Palenga Jaya, and Toasu village. The limiting factors in all sampling locations include P2O5 availability, humidity, and effective soil depth. Therefore, the addition of phosphorus fertilizers becomes one of the priority strategies to increase cocoa productivity. From an economic feasibility point of view, the R/C ratio in North Kolaka and East Kolaka is 1.56 and 2.12, respectively, which means that cocoa farming has a great potential to be developed in the two locations.
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