Cocoa farmers fear climate change lowering crop production

KOREAGUI, Ivory Coast (AP) — Small-scale cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast say their production is down after unpredictable rains this season. And they fear the weather changes are the result of climate change, making the difficulties a permanent threat. For the cocoa tree to fruit well, rains need to come at the right times in the growing cycle. Coming at the wrong times risks crop disease. Cocoa farming employs nearly 600,000 farmers in the West African nation. That translates to providing financial support for some 6 million people, nearly a quarter of Ivory Coast’s population. The country is the world’s largest producer of cocoa, the raw ingredient used in chocolate bars.

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