Everyone says they care about science. And everyone says they care about developing nations.

Chocolate may be instrumental in deliciously helping people care about both. Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, has a problem; young people are turning to other crops or giving up on small farms because they can't improve yields enough to make their cocoa holdings worthwhile. The choice is lose out on a cultural heritage or turn everything over to giant corporate farms.

But science can help. Mars, Incorporated chief agricultural officer Howard-Yana Shapiro says they can boost cocoa yields from around 450 kilograms per hectare today to the 1,500-2,500 kilograms per hectare range in 10 years. He told Neena Rai of the Wall Street Journal that their development centers and agricultural information programs can allow West Africa to retain its King of Coca designation and still satisfy the global demand that will increase each year. 

That's good for everyone. Activists have declared war on small farmers in Africa, declaring that crops like cocoa have led to deforestation (e.g. "Impact of cocoa farming on vegetation in an agricultural landscape in Ghana", African Journal of Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2009.01112.x). More yield with less strain on the land - the agricultural dematerialization miracle that America pioneered - is a win for both small farmers and people who love candy bars.