No more Chocolate for you? Experts say world will run out of cocoa soon [VIDEO]

Malaysian woman jailed and fined for stealing 10 chocolate bars on Christmas Day
Representational Image for chocolates Reuters

It's high time to stash up on all things that are chocolaty as experts are worried that the world could run out of chocolate in the next thirty years. All thanks to Global Warming!

According to experts, crops will be harder to grow in a warming climate as the cacao trees can only grow within approximately 20 degrees north and south of the Equator. The plants thrive under specific conditions such as high humidity and abundant rain.

Even if the temperature increases by just 2.1C over the next 30 years, it will be difficult for the crops to survive. This will eventually affect the worldwide chocolate industry, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The experts claim that the changing climate will suck moisture from the soil and make it impossible to produce a good crop in many regions around the world by 2050. The scientists find it hard to believe that rainfall will increase enough to offset the moisture loss.

At present, two West African countries, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, produce more than half the world's cocoa. But, this region is forecast to be hit by rising temperatures and droughts. In order to survive the situation, the farmers will have to move crops to higher ground, but there are problems like limited space and many upland areas are protected for wildlife.

Now, the question is whether to maintain the world's supply of chocolate or to save their dying ecosystems.

In 2017, experts had predicted that the world was about to face a shortage of chocolate as billions of people across the globe have found their love in chocolates. According to a research titled Destruction by Chocolate found, a typical Western consumer eats an average of 286 chocolate bars a year, which is more if they belong from Belgium. In order to produce 286 bars of chocolate, the producers will have to plant 10 cacao trees to make the cocoa and the butter, which are the key ingredients in the production of chocolate.

More than a billion people from China, Indonesia, India, Brazil and the former Soviet Union have entered the cocoa market since the 1990s. But, still the increased demand has not been fulfilled as stockpiles of cocoa are running low due the effects of climatic change.

Doug Hawkins, from London-based research firm Hardman Agribusiness, said that the production of cocoa is also under strain as farming methods have not changed for hundreds of years.

"Unlike other tree crops that have benefited from the development of modern, high yielding cultivars and crop management techniques to realise their genetic potential, more than 90 per cent of the global cocoa crop is produced by smallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material," Hawkins told Daily Mail.

Several reports have suggested that cocoa growers in Ivory Coast, have already resorted to illegally farming protected forests to meet the rising demand of chocolate.

"All the indicators are that we could be looking at a chocolate deficit of 100,000 tonnes a year in the next few years," Hawkins added.

This article was first published on January 2, 2018