Love eating chocolates? Can't do without the yummilicious delight? Better start stocking it up as much as you can!!
Yes, you heard it right. Experts are warning us towards probable shortage of chocolate in the near future, say just 30-40 years. All thanks to global warming, survival and growth of the cacao plants is under threat.
The cacao plants from which chocolate is made, can thrive only under specific climatic conditions - high humidity and abundant rain. They are grown within approximately 20 degrees North and South of the equator.
Apparently, no amount of rainfall will be able to make up for the loss in moisture caused by the increasing temperatures. Rapidly changing climatic conditions have also put the cacao plant under threat from diseases.
More than half of the world's cocoa production comes from African countries-Ivory Coast and Ghana. These areas are predicted to be hit by major droughts in the coming years.
This might lead the farmers to shift the cocoa cultivation to higher lands, thus disrupting the wildlife ecosystem. Doug Hawkins, a London-based researcher calls it 'destruction by chocolate'.
According to reports, demand for chocolate has already outstripped its supply and producers are finding it difficult to meet the ever-increasing demand. Moreover, cacao cultivation has not been brought under the modernized agricultural practices and is still grown by small farmers on subsistence farms.
What's the way forward?
Scientists are working towards creating new genetically modified hybrids. Adoption of modernized farming techniques could be another solution. But all this will take time.
People, save the world to save chocolate!!