Ghana cocoa in danger of being extinct in 30 years - Experts warn

Ghana cocoa in danger of being extinct in 30 years - Experts warn

Ghana cocoa in danger of being extinct in 30 years - Experts warn

The genes of the plants have been changed slightly, using CRISPR, in hopes they'll better withstand the new conditions, according to a story in Business Insider.

A temperature rise of just 2.1C over the next 30 years caused by global warming is now set to wreak havoc for the plants, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This is expected to push the optimal growth area for cacao uphill into more mountainous zones that are already largely preserved for wildlife. Over portion of the world's chocolate now originates from only two nations in West Africa - Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.

There'll be a loss in moisture that scientists don't believe will be made up for by rainfall.

Mars, which would obviously be majorly affected by a drop in chocolate supply, pledged $1 billion back in September to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 60 percent by 2050.

Barry Parkin, Mars' chief sustainability officer, told Business Insider: "We're trying to go all in here..."

The exploration lab she regulates at UC Berkeley is known as the Innovative Genomics Institute.

It's all thanks to a new technology called CRISPR, which allows for tiny, precise tweaks to DNA that were never possible before.

One such undertaking intends to ensure cassava - a key product that keeps a huge number of individuals from starving every year - from environmental change by tweaking its DNA to create to a lesser extent an unsafe poison that it makes in more sultry temperatures.

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A year ago experts predicted that the world was heading for a "chocolate deficit" as shoppers in developing countries snapped up more of the sweet treat.

This is obviously a big concern, particularly for people in the West, since the typical Western consumer eats an average of almost 286 chocolate bars a year.

Different strains of cacao lack the genetic variety to bolster the plants' resistance to such maladies as witches' broom, frosty pod rot, cocoa pod borer and cocoa swollen shoot.

Since the 1990s, more than a billion people from China, Indonesia, India, Brazil and the former Soviet Union have entered the market for cocoa.

Doug Hawkins, of Hardman Agribusiness, says part of the problem is most cocoa is produced by poor families who can not afford fertilisers and pesticides.

"More than 90 per cent of the global cocoa crop is produced by smallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material".

The Sun reports cocoa beans, which grown on cacao trees only thrive in humid rainforest-like conditions close the equator.

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