Will there be no chocolates in the next 30 years?
“Currently, the biggest challenge is that financially impoverished farmers and their families produce the Cocoa and for them buying fertilizers and pesticides isn’t not an affordable option.”
Experts and environmentalists studying climate change and its effects have warned that because of the increasingly warming temperature, it would be difficult to grow the crop and so we could run out of chocolates in the next 30 years.
Cocoa beans coming from the Cacao tree grow only in humid conditions of the equatorial rainforests. Diseases threaten this plant. According to a report published in The Sun, the changing climate will dry the soil considerably, by 2050, making it almost impossible to grow a good crop in several regions all across the world.
forecast suggests that two countries Ivory Coast and Ghana, both located in the west of Africa, will be among the most affected by the climatic changes and could suffer from rising temperatures and droughts.
That kind of situation would be nothing short of a natural calamity especially for the farmers who would have to move up their crops to higher altitudes. However, the spaces on those altitudes are limited, and most of it remains reserved for wildlife protection.
With the growing demand for chocolates in Asia, it is getting harder to keep up with it given that supply is minimal.
The cocoa reserves are diminishing, and it is quite probable that a severe shortage of cocoa worldwide will no longer be a mere distant reality. One of the experts has shown extreme concerns and has warned that climatic changes are to affect the cocoa production drastically and will soon lead to this global shortage.
Currently, the biggest challenge is that financially impoverished farmers and their families produce the Cocoa and for them buying fertilizers and pesticides are not an affordable option. Doug Hawkins, associated with Hardman Agribusiness, says that this is a part of the problem.
He said that over 90% of the world’s cocoa produce comes from small farmers and their subsistence farms which are not well equipped and are lacking in modern agricultural tools, materials, and planning.
Hawkins goes on to say that with the current situation and the way things are a chocolate deficit of 100,000 tons every year is inevitable in the coming few years.
Also, sevreal other experts say that though modern farming method and techniques could lead to better yields and increased production, it will not solve the problem completely.
A recent mapping of the genetic code of the cacao tree has been conducted by some scientists funded by Mars, a popular name in the chocolate industry. The results said that almost all the Cacao trees have genetically descended from the same few plants which are found in the regions of the upper Amazon.
They have continued their research and are also working on developing a new kind of genetically modified breed of Cocoa. They intend to make it in a way that it can cope up with the heat and drought and is also able to produce as much as a natural cocoa tree.