In an unprecedented effort to unlock the secrets of the cocoa plant, Mars, Inc. announced it’s teaming up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and IBM to sequence and analyze the entire cocoa genome.  By mapping the generic makeup of the cocoa genome, scientists will be able to direct breeding to cocoa plants and “even enhance the quality of cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate.”  The collaboration, the group says, will enable 6.5 million cocoa farmers around the world to plant better quality cocoa and “help create healthier, stronger cocoa crops with higher yields, pest and disease resistance, and increased water and nutrient use efficiency.”