How farmers may save chocolate from climate change extinction

An ‘agroforestry’ scheme might help protect cocoa crops (Picture: Chris Terry/PA Wire)

Chocolate is under threat from climate change – but the world’s most popular snacks may be saved from total meltdown.

Farmers in Ghana are trialling an ‘agroforestry’ scheme to help protect cocoa crops from global warming.

With yields in some areas falling by more than half, they face a threat to their living – and chocolate lovers to their favourite brands.

To counter this, the Sankofa project in Ghana’s Ahafo region involves planting cocoa seedlings among fruit trees and other crops to produce a healthy microclimate.

Emelia Debrah works on her plot growing cocoa among other crops (Picture: Chris Terry/PA Wire)

By moving from a chemical
-reliant monoculture to a more traditional approach, cocoa farmers will be better able to cope with increased risk of scorching heat, drought, pests and erratic rains.

One of the first farmers to sign up, John Kwabena Narh, said: ‘When I started, people thought I was crazy for adopting this approach but now they want to join.’

And Sadick Kwaku Abanga watched his neighbour Lucy Twenewaa transform a ‘terrible, waterlogged’ patch of land into a ‘really beautiful farm’. Now he has been able to convert a patch of rocky, sunbaked hillside into a dynamic agroforestry plot.

Ahead of the UN Cop27 climate summit in Egypt next week, Fairtrade campaigners warned farmers need support.

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