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How planting trees can protect cocoa plants against climate change

May 18th, 2018 / The Conversation

Worldwide, areas suitable for cocoa production are predicted to shrink by up to 20-30% over the next 30 years. This is because cocoa trees are already struggling to cope with drier, hotter conditions – attributed in large part to climate change.
Chocolate, one of the most popular and widely consumed products …

Scientists are on a mission to save chocolate

February 12th, 2018 / MACH

For people who love sweets, 2018 started on a sour note: Headlines claimed that cacao, the tropical tree whose beans contain the raw ingredients for chocolate, was on the brink of extinction as a result of climate change.
As with many sensational stories, this one turned out to be inaccurate. Cacao …

Ghana aims to regain top spot in cocoa production

October 12th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Ghana is home to the world’s favourite cocoa beans. They’re bigger in size, have a higher butter content and superior flavour – all qualities which make Ghana’s cocoa the world standard against which all cocoa is measured.
But while cocoa used to be the biggest foreign exchange earner for the West …

Saving chocolate: Scientists develop disease-resistant hybrid cacao clones that dramatically increase yields

October 3rd, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Few cacao varieties are widely cultivated, and that’s a problem: Like many other crops, cacao is under constant threat from diseases and environmental challenges exacerbated by our tendency to grow only a few varieties with similar or identical genetic traits and defects.
In the early 1980s, Dr. Phillips-Mora worked to identify …

Bumper crop of cocoa is no sweet deal for African farmers

April 20th, 2017 / MarketPlace, US

Seventy percent of cocoa comes from West Africa, mostly Ivory Coast and Ghana. The supply can swing way up or down depending on political instability and the weather there. “At times coca prices’ annualized volatility can be as much as 20 to 25 percent,” said James Butterfill, head of research …

Cote d’Ivoire: ‘Mercedes’ cocoa helps farmers

June 18th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

Ivory Coast is on a drive to improve cocoa quality and yield as small farmers struggle with weather extremes. Abou Ouattara has grown cocoa for the last 17 years, but luckily the 52-year-old does not have a sweet tooth. “I grow cocoa to provide for my family and only eat …

Environmentally friendly practices boost cocoa production in Ghana

January 28th, 2016 / UNDP, US

UNDP, in partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), and with financial support from Mondelēz International Cocoa Life Programme, introduced farmers to environmentally friendly practices that can also boost cocoa production and rehabilitate degraded cocoa landscapes. Through the three-year project “Environmental Sustainability and Policy for Cocoa Production in Ghana” (ESP), …