Climate Change Puts Cocoa and Chocolate Under Threat
No matter how some people deny it, the effects of climate change have been very evident from shrinking glaciers, rising sea water levels, to shifting regional climates. This rapid escalation of change in Earth’s climate, which has been scientifically concluded to be man-made in nature, is significantly affecting agriculture including the cocoa beans that make up chocolate.
Crops grow within a relatively narrow range of climatic conditions, with the right amount of rain and sunshine, as well as the right kind of soil among other requirements. For instance, coconuts do not grow in places with cold climate, while strawberries cannot be harvested in warm environments.
As for the cocoa trees, they grow in tropical climate. However, several cocoa-growing regions such as West Africa are getting too hot to support the cocoa crop. Farmers are also worried about a fungal infection that could ruin cocoa trees and drive the price of cocoa beans significantly high. While it will take time before cocoa becomes unsustainable in areas where they used to flourish, steps have to be undertaken to prevent it.
Researchers, for instance, can develop drought-tolerant plants that can handle hotter, drier conditions. They can also develop plants that are resistant to fungal infections.
Source: The Guardian