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Cameroon’s Cocoa Crop Falls Victim to a Warmer Climate

Changing weather patterns, partly linked to global warming, have made poor harvests a new reality for many cocoa farmers. That’s a big problem for Cameroon, Africa’s third-largest cocoa producer behind Ivory Coast and Ghana, as the crop generated more than 15% of its export revenues in 2019. The country faces a battle to meet its long-term target to boost cocoa output to over 300,000 tonnes annually, said Raymond Adengoyo, who is leading a national study on the impact of climate change on cocoa farming. The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in a 2014 report that if global carbon emissions continued to rise, entire cocoa economies could be devastated. Cocoa trees thrive in humid, equatorial areas that experience predictable bouts of sunshine and heavy rain, like West and Central Africa, where about 70% of the world’s beans, the main ingredient for chocolate, currently come from. If carbon emissions aren’t curbed, scientists expect temperatures in cocoa-producing countries to rise by 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit on average, drying up the moisture needed for trees to flourish and damaging cocoa production, the U.N. report said.SOURCE: REUTERS