Cocoa farmers grow rubber – level 3

17-06-2024 07:00

Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, is seeing a shift among farmers toward rubber cultivation.

Farmers find rubber farming cheaper and less labor-intensive. Cocoa gets harvested once or twice a year, whereas rubber provides a monthly income. This shift worries the cocoa industry, as small-scale farmers, who provide 90% of the global supply, are turning to rubber. It could lead to higher chocolate prices. Ivory Coast’s natural rubber production rose from 170,000 tons to 1.5 million tons between 2019 and 2022, placing it among the top three global producers.

Climate change and high production costs are driving this change. Rubber trees demand less effort and offer stable prices, ensuring financial stability for farmers. Without support from the cocoa industry, cocoa farming may decline, increasing chocolate prices.

Difficult words: shift (a change), cultivation (growing plants).

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What factors are driving the shift from cocoa farming to rubber cultivation in Ivory Coast and how could this impact the global cocoa industry?


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