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This is particularly true for industries that depend on agriculture – like the chocolate business.West African cocoa is an important part of Hershey's unique flavor, but in that region, cocoa trees are aging and becoming less productive.In the past, when cocoa farmers faced diminishing crop yields, they would simply clear forests and start over. The only sustainable solution is to seed old cocoa farms with new trees.To meet global demand for 7.2 million metric tons of chocolate annually, multinationals like Hershey rely on millions of cocoa farmers, each of whom farms a tiny plot, often 1-2 hectares (2.5-5 acres).According to Ghana's Lands Commission, less than 2 percent of the country's 800,000 cocoa farmers have a legal right to the land they cultivate.But once cocoa trees stop producing after 30 years or so – or sooner if disease strikes – farmers must obtain permission from the original landowner to replant. At the same time, USAID is mapping cocoa farmers' land and documenting their customary rights to it.
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