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IELTS reading passage – Endangered Chocolate
A.The cocoa tree, which was formerly indigenous to the tropical American jungle, contains foreign characteristics. Slender and Shrubby, Cacao has acclimated to living near the leaf-littered forest floor. The huge leaves of this plant droop away from the light. Cacao does not blossom at the airfields of its outer and higher stems, as do other plants. Instead, its aromatic white buds dangle from the trunk, and a few thick branches emerge when the leaves fall off. These little flowers develop into pods with pulp similar to the size of rugby balls. The low-hanging pods hold magical seeds with a bitter flavor.
B.Ancient people in Mesoamerica learned the mystery of these beans more than 2,000 years ago. When you dismiss the grains from the pod together with the pulp, when you let them ferment and parch in the sun, and then roast them over a low fire, something extraordinary occurs: they turn chocolatey. If you then crush and press the beans, which are at least fifty percent cocoa butter, you will acquire a crumbly confectionary. Chestnut brown paste is chocolate at its purest and most straightforward.
C.The Maya and Aztecs cherished this chocolate, which they combined with water and spices to create restorative drinks. It was a palatable prize that was offered to their gods, used as a coin, and kept as if it were gold. long after the sixteenth-century introduction of the beverage to Europe by Spanish explorers. There was an atmosphere of aristocratic elegance in chocolate. The Swedish biologist Carolus Linnaeus called the cacao tree genus Theobroma in 1753, which means “food of the gods.”
D.In the past two hundred years, the bean has been considerably democratized, going from a titled drink into across-the-board candy bars, cocoa powders, and confections. Today, chocolate is earning favor around the world, with new demands emerging in Eastern Europe and Asia. This is both profitable and destructive news since, even while farmers are creating historical portions of cacao beans, some academics are concerned that this is not adequate to meet global needs. Cacao also has some concerning problems.
E.Philippe Petithuguenin, director of the cacao program at France’s Centre for International Cooperation in Development-Oriented Agricultural Research (CiRAD), just gave a presentation at a conference in the Dominican Republic. On the global map, he revealed that cacao grows in a miniature area within 180 degrees north and south of the equator. Cacao has been cultivated throughout this hot, humid tropical belt for the past four centuries, from South America and the Caribbean to West Africa, East Asia, New Guinea, and Vanuatu in the Pacific.
F.Today, 70% of all cacao beans are sourced from West and Central Africa. Farmers in several parts engage in so-called pioneer farming.” They clear sections of the forest of all but the tallest canopy trees and then plant cacao, shading the young cacao with temporary banana plantations. This type of forest may generate 50 to 60 pods per tree annually for the next 25 to 30 years. Eventually, however, pests, diseases, and soil depletion reduce crop production. The farmers then proceed to clear a fresh forest area, unless farmers of other crops arrive first. Petit-Huguenin stated, “You cannot continue chopping the tropical forest because the forest itself is threatened.” The global demand for chocolate grows by an average of 3% every year. In the absence of land for new plants in tropical forests, how can this be accomplished?’
G.Many farmers are more concerned about sidestepping sickness. Cacao, especially when produced in plantations, is sensitive to several diseases, mostly rotting diseases caused by various species of fungi that infect the pods or kill the trees. This fungus and other infections may ruin entire cacao-growing areas and kill more than a quarter of the world’s annual yield.
H.Cacao produced in the Bahia area of Brazil was eliminated by a disease called “witches’ broom.” In the 1980s, Brazil’s cocoa bean output declined by 75% as the third biggest producer. According to Petithuguenin, if a genuinely terrible illness like a witches’ broom arrived in West Africa (the largest producer in the world), the outcome would be ruinous. If another manufacturer were to fail at this time, the results would be seen globally. In the United States, for instance, imported cacao is the cornerstone of an $8.6 billion domestic chocolate sector, sustaining the nation’s dairy and nut enterprises. Twenty percent of all dairy products in the United States are used in confectionery.
I.Today, researchers are trying to handle this issue by creating disease-resistant plants. However, even the most desirable plants are useless if there is nowhere to cultivate them. Farmers who cultivate cacao typically receive a pittance for their beans compared to the profits earned by the rest of the chocolate industry. Most are at the mercy of local intermediaries, who purchase the beans and resell them to chocolate producers at a significantly higher price. These individuals must be removed from the process to improve the situation for farmers. However, the economics of cacao are fast shifting due to the dwindling bean supply. Some businesses have realized that they must collaborate more closely with farmers to guarantee the implementation of sustainable agricultural methods. They must restore and buffer the forest with ground cover, bushes, small trees, and canopy trees. The soil will then be more resilient and productive. They must also empower the farmers by guaranteeing them a greater price for their cacao beans in order to encourage them to cultivate cacao and preserve their way of life.
Endangered Chocolate IELTS reading questions
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C, or D. Write your answers on your answer sheet from 1-3
1.The cacao plant’s flowers appear
- at the tips of its uppermost branches.
- across each of its branches.
- primarily in the trunk.
- is nearing its leaves.
2.Banana trees are planted alongside cocoa plants in Africa in order to
- The effect a chocolate manufacturing collapse may have on other sectors.
- safeguards the young plants.
- give an additional crop.
- Contribute to improving soil quality.
3. What is the author referring to in paragraph H when he states that the waves will be felt globally?
- the effect a chocolate manufacturing collapse may have on other sectors
- the potential for disease transmission to other crops.
- the economic consequences for the world’s chocolate farmers?
- the connection between Brazilian and African cultivators
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The reading passage has nine paragraphs labeled A-I. Which paragraph contains the following information?
From 4–9, write the correct letter A-I in your answer sheet 4-9.
4. a collection of cacao-growing regions
5. an illustration of the disease’s impact on one cacao-growing region.
6. information on an old chocolate beverage.
7. A quick explanation of how the contemporary chocolate business has evolved
8. the average lifespan and yield of a cocoa plantation?
9. a reference to the scientific identification of the cacao plant.
Complete the notes below. Write no more than two words from the passage for each answer. Write your answers on your answer sheet from 10-13.
Ways of dealing with the plant’s problems
- Chocolate makers must deal directly with farmers as opposed to relying on 10
- __________. It is necessary to discover plants that are resistant to 11 ______.
- Need to encourage farmers to employ 12 ____. techniques to cultivate cocoa plants
- Ensure that farmers receive a portion of the 13____ produced by the chocolate business.
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Endangered Chocolate IELTS reading answers
1 Answer: C-Mainly on its trunk.
2 Answer: B-Protect the new plants
3 Answer: A – The impact a collapse in chocolate production could have on other industries.
4 Answer: E
5 Answer: H
6 Answer: C
7 Answer: D
8 Answer: F
9 Answer: C
10 Answer: Local (middlemen)
11 Answer: Disease
12 Answer: Sustainable
13 Answer: Profits
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