British confectionery giant Cadbury Schweppes is funding trial crops of cocoa in an agricultural research station near Darwin.

Together with the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation, Cadbury is also funding other trails throughout the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.

The company is believed to be experimenting to access Australia's potential to grow cocoa because of the question mark over the reliability of its supplies in western Africa. Instability in the region has also forced prices higher.