Time to scrub the sweet tooth?

Position:NEWS
 
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Chocolate lovers, be warned. Chocolate could become as rare--and as expensive--as caviar within 20 years, said the Ghana-based Nature Conservation Research Center and reported by ABC News in the United States.

Two of the culprits are climate change and unsustainable cacao farming.

If the temperature rises, drought becomes more prevalent and new farming practises aren't explored, "there might likely be a problem", said Howard Shapiro, global director of plant science and external research for confectioner Mars Inc., on the likelihood of chocolate shortages.

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As demand for chocolate increases, farmers clear more forest to plant cacao, plus use hybrid seeds to produce higher yields in a shorter amount of time. Consequences include soil erosion anda shorter lifespan of the cacao plants. When the plants die and the land becomes infertile, farmers clear new sections of forest and start the cycle again, thus contributing to deforestation.

"When the cocoa price is high, it gives farmers the incentive to increase cocoa production and to tap into new growing areas," Josiane Kremer, spokesperson for Swiss cacao and chocolate manufacturer Barry-Callebaut, told...

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