Cacao trees can be found easily in three districts in Tapanuli area, namely : in Tapanuli Utara , Humbang Hasundutan and Toba Samosir districts. People in this area grow the plant traditionally. Since 10 years ago, in some area of Tapanuli Utara district like in Pahae subdistrict for instance, cacao is one of the main source of income for the people here. Yet in other part of the area, cacao has not been exploited as the main source of income. The planting of cacao is done traditionally due to the people lack of knowledge on how to cultivate it in a proper way.
Nevertheless, in Pahae where cacao is used as the main source of income, the condition of cacao farmers is quite poor. Even though cacao grows well but its post products handling is not done in a proper process as it should be. The process of harvesting to market ready products is still depend on the weather. During the bad weather and especially during the rainy season the final product is not good as expected. The bad weather hampers the process of harvesting and drying the cacao as well.