The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict that by 2050, one of many people’s favourite desserts, chocolate, will be in an alarming state and unlikely to go extinct (NOAA).
They claim that because of the rise in temperature, the nation that produces cocoa, the primary plant used in the production of chocolate, will have to be planted more than 1,000 feet up in mountainous regions that are typically designated as animal sanctuaries.
A similar warning on the potential extinction of chocolate by the middle of the 21st century, or 2050, was also given by Oxfam, a partnership of 21 independent charities dedicated to eradicating worldwide poverty.
Combined together once more before chocolate abruptly vanishes from existence and prices skyrocket in addition to it being a rare and expensive dish on par with caviar.
According to a paper published by Oxfam Intermón’, it is believed that this will occur as a result of climate change, which contributes to global warming. Indirectly, this condition will result in drought in cocoa-producing nations and harm cocoa plantations all over the world.
Ghana and the Ivory Coast, the two countries with the greatest global cocoa production at 50% each, are among those who would be directly impacted.
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) predicted that between now and 2050, temperatures in the two countries will rise by up to 2 degrees Celsius, making it nearly difficult to harvest cocoa because the crop is so dependent on both humidity and temperature in a tropical climate. twenty Celsius.
This is due to the fact that the cocoa plant is commonly produced in tropical regions with year-round rainfall. It will be negatively impacted if the temperature rises or if there is less rainfall.
In addition to only having a 30-year lifespan, cocoa plants also take a long time to mature—5 years—and are relatively slow-growing. As a result, the current climate change will not have an impact on the current generation of cocoa plants, but it will jeopardise the harvests that will be grown in the future.
With the tremendous demand that is received each year, this five-year maturation period might not be sufficient. Many plants are also unable to generate enough produce to meet demand due to these temperature variations.
At the moment, efforts are being conducted to genetically alter this cocoa plant so that it can endure in places with greater temperatures and drier climates.
Additionally, it is urged that cocoa producers either utilise Brazilian methods that involve planting tall trees next to their cocoa plants so that they can provide an “umbrella” for the plants or plant more resilient varieties of cocoa that can survive during droughts.
The future of cocoa plants is still uncertain, despite the fact that there are a variety of uses for them. The only thing that is definite is that their price will rise and they will become more expensive than they are right now.