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Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Lucy Horobin 6:30am - 10am
16 April 2010, 06:00
Scientists in Reading are saving the future of chocolate!
The University is getting ready to start a five year study into the effects of climate change on cocoa.
Pests and diseases already destroy around a third of potential cocoa production and climate change poses an even greater risk. By studying the effects of this, scientists are hoping to help those breeding new cocoa varieties, so they can breed crops able to withstand the risks.
Professor Paul Hadley is leading the project. He told Heart their work is really important - especially for chocolate lovers, "Demand for chocolate is increasing. The problem potentially is that world yealds will start to decline because of unfavourable conditions."
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As well as providing a fix for chocaholics everywhere, cocoa is also really improtant to the economies of countries in West Africa, which grow it. This study will help protect the industry in these countries, as well as giving new countries like Tanzania and Vietnam the chance to grow cocoa, by helping to create new varieties of the crop.