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The report, titled "Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on the Cocoa-Growing Regions in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire," suggests that suitability of areas will begin to decline by 2030.

It notes that trees will struggle to get adequate water during the growing season and may be stressed by the increasingly-intense dry season.

29 September 2011: The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) has released a report titled “Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on the Cocoa-Growing Regions in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire,” which predicts that a temperature rise of over 2ºC by 2050 would dramatically impact West Africa’s cocoa-producing areas.

The report suggests that the suitability of areas will begin to decline by 2030. It notes that trees will struggle to get adequate water during the growing season and may be stressed by the increasingly intense dry season. Areas that may be particularly hard hit include Moyen-Comoe, Sud-Comoe and Agneby in Cote d’Ivoire, and Western and Brong Ahafo in Ghana.

The researchers stress that marginal chocolate growing areas are already affected and that cocoa growing areas will need to shift to higher altitudes, but that these areas are limited in West Africa. The report also notes that this move may lead to the clearing of more forests. The researchers suggest that farmers should increasingly use shade trees, diversify their livelihood sources, and take measures to minimize bushfires. They also underscore the need to develop new climate-resilient cocoa crops alongside government policies that promote adaptation. Additional studies will be forthcoming from CIAT on the impact of climate change on other West African cash crops such as cashew and cotton. CIAT is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [Publication: Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on the Cocoa-Growing Regions in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire] [CIAT Press Release]

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