The cacao tree enjoys optimal climatic conditions in the world’s equatorial regions, with the principal cocoa-farming areas situated in West Africa. Small-scale farmers account for around 90 percent of all cocoa production. Many experience poverty since fluctuating global cocoa prices often mean that their incomes are below subsistence levels, preventing them from investing in replanting or plant protection products. Furthermore, structural poverty often leads to child labour on the plantations. Workforce exploitation and even forced labour are not uncommon occurrences. Cocoa farming can also damage ecosystems, because pesticides are used improperly due to a lack of educational opportunities, for example. As a result of extensive monocultivation and climate change, existing farming areas frequently become unproductive. Increasing deforestation clears more land for cultivation, which in turn has a negative impact on biodiversity.