Can cocoa regain its shine?

Shrinking plantations: Cacao output in Malaysia has shrunk by half in the past decade as farmers turn to more lucrative crops. — Reuters

MALAYSIA once had a thriving cacao plantation sector. But over the years, other crops have taken over its place as a main source of agricultural products including rubber, oil palm and, now, durian.

There is a long history of cacao in Malaysia. The first cultivated cacao plant is said to be planted as early as in the 1770s, or about 250 years ago. The plantings propagated and contributed significantly to the country’s economic growth.

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