Quick Edit | Sweet nothings

Quick Edit | Sweet nothings

Never mind coal, or even oil. A far more enjoyable source of energy is fast becoming non-renewable. The Independent reports that cocoa could be so rare and expensive in 20 years that chocolate, its most popular end product, will be “like caviar". That’s because cocoa farmers in West Africa are abandoning crops in search of better livelihoods, even as the world consumes more chocolate than ever. Cocoa can only be grown within 10 degrees latitude of the equator, replanting is difficult, and new crops take 3-5 years to mature. Add to that problems with pests and soil depletion. And lack of organization means the smallholder, who does all this, earns just 80 cents (Rs 36) a day. Harvests have fallen in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer, and prices are at a three-decade high. Well, that plot should have a particular resonance for agricultural thinkers in India. Bt chocolate, anyone?

Close