Chocolate may Go Extinct in the Next 40 Years

by Hannah Joy on Jan 4 2018 6:48 PM

Chocolate may Go Extinct in the Next 40 Years
Cacao plants might go extinct by 2050 due to changing climates like warmer temperatures and dry weather conditions, reveals a new study.
Using gene-editing technology called CRISPR can help cacao plants survive the new weather challenges. To save the crop at the earliest, scientists from the University of California are teaming up with Mars company.

The article was published in The Independent.

Myeong-Je Cho, the director of plant genomics at an institute that is working closely with Mars company, is working towards developing a more resistant version of cacao plants that can survive in a dryer and warmer climates.

“A new technology called CRISPR, which allows for tiny tweaks in the DNA which will make the crops cheaper and more reliable,” said Cho.

Cacao plants can grow only in a rainforested land, which would roughly be 20 degrees north and south of the equator. Because, temperature, rain, and humidity stay constant all throughout the year.

Nearly half the world receives its chocolate from two countries - Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana in West Africa. In the next few decades, these areas might not be suitable to grow the crop.

By 2050, the rising temperatures can push these regions to more than 1,000 feet uphill into mountainous terrain, and most of it is being preserved for wildlife, revealed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Mars Company is a $35 billion corporation and is best known for Snickers. They are widely aware of these problems caused due to climate change.

Mars has pledged $1 billion in September, as part of an effort called "Sustainability in a Generation" that aims to reduce their business carbon footprint and supply chain by more than 60 percent by 2050.