The Nation Sunday Print Edition - page 2

Page 2 Sunday, November 23, 2014 The Nation
news
T
here’s no easy way to say
this: You’re eating too
much chocolate, all of
you. And it’s getting so
out of hand that the world could
be headed towards a potentially
disastrous (if you love chocolate)
scenario if it doesn’t stop.
Those are, roughly speaking,
the words of two huge chocolate
makers, Mars, Inc. and Barry Cal-
lebaut, and there’s some data to
back them up.
Chocolate deficits, whereby
farmers produce less cocoa than
the world eats, are becoming
the norm. Already, we are in the
midst of what could be the longest
streak of consecutive chocolate
deficits in more than 50 years.
It also looks like deficits aren’t
just carrying over from year-to-
year—the industry expects them
to grow. Last year, the world ate
roughly 70,000 metric tons more
cocoa than it produced. By 2020,
the two chocolate-makers warn
that that number could swell to
one million metric tons, a more
than 14-fold increase; by 2030,
they think the deficit could reach
two million metric tons.
The problem is, for one, a sup-
ply issue. Dry weather in West
Africa (specifically in the Ivory
Coast and Ghana, where more
than 70 percent of the world’s
cocoa is produced) has greatly de-
creased production in the region.
A nasty fungal disease known as
frosty pod hasn’t helped either.
The International Cocoa Organi-
zation estimates it has wiped out
between 30 percent and 40 percent
of global cocoa production.
Because of all this, cocoa farming
has proven a particularly tough
business, and many farmers have
shifted to more profitable crops,
like corn, as a result.
Then there’s the world’s insatia-
ble appetite for chocolate. China’s
growing love for the stuff is of
particular concern. The Chinese
are buying more and more choco-
late each year. Still, they only
consume per capita about five per-
cent of what the average Western
European eats. There’s also the
rising popularity of dark choco-
late, which
contains a
good deal more
cocoa by volume
than traditional
chocolate bars (the aver-
age chocolate bar contains
about 10 percent, while dark
chocolate often contains upwards
of 70 percent).
Efforts to counter the grow-
ing imbalance between the
amount of chocolate the world
wants, and the amount farmers
can produce has inspired a bit
The world’s biggest chocolate-makers say
We’re running out of chocolate
of much needed in-
novation. Specifically, an
agricultural research group
in Central Africa is developing trees that
can produce up to seven times the amount
of beans traditional cocoa trees can. The
uptick in efficiency, however, might be
compromising taste.
(Washington Post)
The Competent Authority of the National
Photographic Arts Society of Sri Lanka will
conduct a three-year diploma course for
photographers and applicants have been
requested to send in their entries before No-
vember 30. The course will be conducted in
2015.
Details can be obtained from the official
website at
Application forms could also be down-
loaded from the website and sent to the
Competent Authority of the National Photo-
graphic Arts Society of Sri Lanka, No. 170,
Kolonnawa Road, Dematagoda under reg-
istered post.
The course is free of charge.
Applications called for
photographic diploma course
Sandun Jayawardana
Police have still not been able to appre-
hend the suspects involved in the shooting
of a former United National Party (UNP)
Pradeshiya Sabha member on Friday eve-
ning (November 21).
When contacted, Police Spokesman SSP
Ajith Rohana said no arrests had been made
and those involved in the shooting remained
unidentified yesterday (November 22).
The victim, Chamila Ranasinghe, is a for-
mer member of the Beruwala Pradeshiya
Sabha. He had been shot by unidentified
assailants around 6.40pm in Maggona on
Friday while he and a group of UNP support-
ers were lighting firecrackers in celebration
of the announcement that former Sri Lanka
Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary
Maithripala Sirisena had been appointed
as the Opposition’s ‘Common Candidate’ to
face President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the
upcoming presidential election.
Ranasinghe, who had been shot in the
head, was admitted to the Kalutara Nago-
da Hospital before being transferred to the
Colombo National Hospital for further treat-
ment. His condition is said to be critical.
Releasing a statement yesterday theCam-
paign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE),
condemned the shooting as well as anoth-
er alleged attack on a vehicle convoy of a
group of UNP supporters in Mawathagama
on Friday. Several people were injured and
vehicles were damaged during the attack,
according to reports.
In the statement, CaFFE expressed con-
cern that such violence was being report-
ed so soon after the announcement of the
presidential election.
suspects at large
No change in papal visit
despite presidential
election
Maneshka Borham
The Roman Catholic Church in Sri Lan-
ka yesterday reiterated that the Papal visit
scheduled to take place on January 13,
2015 will go ahead as planned despite the
announcement of Presidential Election,
which is to be held on January 8. Accord-
ingly, the Pope’s visit to the country will take
place from January 13-15.
Speaking to The Nation, Director of the
National Catholic Center for Social Com-
munication, Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando
said there will be no changes regarding the
Papal visit.
When asked if the church has any con-
cerns regarding the election being held in
close proximity to the visit of Pope Francis
he said the Church appeals to the Govern-
ment and the Opposition for the elections
to be held in a peaceful and fair manner so
that the visit of the Pope will also be an ad-
ditional blessing to Sri Lanka.
“This is our appeal to all concerned,” he
said adding that it is the wish of the church
that the papal visit will be a moment of rec-
onciliation in the country. According to Rev.
Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando, it is important
that the Pope is welcomed to Sri Lanka in a
peaceful atmosphere.
Previously, the church has requested
that there should be enough time between
a possible election and the visit as Pope
Francis would not visit a country during an
ongoing election campaign. Chief Opposi-
tion Whip, MP John Amaratunga had also
requested from the Government not to hold
the presidential election in January due to
the papal visit.
Shooting of ex-PS member
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