For all the chocolate lovers, there might be some heartbreaking and shocking news. Due to the warmer temperatures and drier weather conditions, the cacao plants are slated to disappear as early as 2050. The scientists at the University of California are teaming up with the candy company named Mars company in order to try and save the plant before it is too late. Reportedly, the group of scientists are exploring the possibility of using the gene-editing technology called CRISPR to make crops that can survive the new challenges.
The plants are kept in rows of tiny green cacao seedlings in refrigerated greenhouses awaiting the result on the big day. The seedlings have been kept under the watchful eye of Myeong-Je Cho, the director of plant genomics at an institute that is working with the food and candy company named Mars, which is helping the plants to transform.
Due to the new technology called CRISPR, tiny, precise tweaks into the DNA are possible. The tweaks are already being used to make the crops much cheaper and reliable. But their most important use may be in the developing world, where many of the plants that people rely on to avoid starvation are threatened by the impacts of climate change.
The cacao plants occupy quite a precarious position on the globe as they can grow only within a narrow strip of rainforested land roughly 20 degrees north and south of the equator. Over half of the world's chocolate now comes from just two countries in West Africa — Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. However, these areas will not be suitable for chocolate in the next few decades. Reports suggest that by 2050, rising temperatures will push the chocolate growing regions by more than 1,000 feet uphill into mountainous terrain — much of which is currently preserved for wildlife.