“FRANKENTREE” FIASCO CUTS COCOA SUPPLY

“Frankentree” Fiasco Cuts Cocoa Supply

cloning technique aimed at increasing cocoa output by hastening seed production has led instead to sickly, misshapen trees, dubbed “Frankentrees,” that topple under their own weight and yield poor-quality beans. Typical cocoa trees produce seed pods after four years, but the cloned trees take just three. Thus, to boost cocoa production, the Indonesian government began a campaign in 2009 to get farmers to plant the modified saplings. Unfortunately, three years into the $350-million campaign, output continues to fall and discouraged cocoa farmers are increasingly turning to the more lucrative palm oil industry. More… Discuss

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