Lost choco­late

Irish Examiner - Farming - - FEATURE -

Up to 38% of the global ca­cao crop is gen­er­ally lost each year to dis­ease or pests, long be­fore its bean-like seeds can be turned into co­coa and choco­late.

Dif­fer­ent crop dis­eases af­fect ca­cao in Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean, West Africa, South-east Asia and the Pa­cific area. Emerg­ing pest prob­lems may be­come worse with cli­mate change.

Dis­eases caused by phy­toph­thora (the same fun­gus fam­ily that causes po­tato blight) and monil­io­ph­thoira pathogens dom­i­nate, along with swollen shoot dis­ease and vas­cu­larstreak dieback.

Co­coa and choco­late come from the ca­cao bean. But up to 38% of the crop is lost.

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