Craving chocolate – how to supply increasing demands in cocoa crops

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Helping cocoa farmers tackle diseased crops in a sustainable way ©CABI

A recent article in Canada’s The Globe and Mail, discussed some of the upcoming issues associated with out-dated cultivation methods for cocoa crops. Demand for cocoa, and the end product chocolate, is increasing in Asian countries as salaries increase and demands shift. While it has been suggested that this might contribute to a world cocoa shortage, some of the ways in which this can be addressed is through improving and modernising technologies used to grow the crop. Increasing farm sizes, managing and mitigating pests of cocoa, increasing incentive to grow cocoa trees, and investing in more effective agri-inputs have all been proposed as ways to address this growing concern.

CABI has several projects ongoing to helping farmers in cocoa-growing regions improve farming techniques and improve the long-term sustainability of growing cocoa in West Africa, Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean. If you are interested in cocoa pests, please visit the Plantwise knowledge bank site.

Experimenting with Aquaponics farms in Nairobi

by Daniel Moore, danieljamesmoore.wordpress.com

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Some people say my business partner Jacquie and I are a little bit crazy. We are starting an aquaponics farming business in Nairobi, Kenya in the midst of poverty, pollution, power cuts, and corruption. We are doing this because we want to improve food security, job opportunities and create new business around the developing world. We could have found an easier startup (an oxymoron in and of itself) but we were both passionate about this issue and wanted to prove that a profitable farm could be built in an  urban context. Let me take you back a couple of years for a little more of my story.

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Rise of Agriculture in the past 300 years

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This glimpse of agricultural expansion over recent centuries, courtesy of Bill Rankin, tells us a compelling story of the importance of farming in the modern world. However, the increaase in land dedicated to farming does not necessarily translate to the increase in food and income to sustain people- not while 40% of these crops is lost to pests before it can even be harvested. Is it time to grow more with less?

Watch the rise of agriculture over time, and learn how Plantwise is changing the story:

http://www.radicalcartography.net/index.html?worldcrops