Ivory Coast rain and sun to boost cocoa mid-crop: farmers

ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Abundant rain mixed with sunny spells in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions last week will boost the mid-crop in the world’s biggest producer, farmers said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: A farmer works on a cocoa farm in Bobia, Gagnoa, Ivory Coast, December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon/File Photo

Ivory Coast is entering the rainy season that runs from mid-March to late October when downpours are regular.

Farmers said they were happy with the weather and that if rain remained frequent, most of the mid-crop beans would be big and the harvest would be longer and larger.

The marketing season for mid-crop is due to start on April 1 and runs until the end of September. Farmers in several villages said they would only have small quantities of beans in April but volumes would rise in May.

“If April is rainy then we will have less issues with quality,” said Jonas Bile, who farms near the central region of Yamoussoukro, where 76.7 mm of rain fell last week, 60.2 mm above the five-year average.

In the central region of Bongouanou which received 53.8 mm last week, 36.3 mm above average, farmers said the weather would help the growing of cherelles and small pods but harvesting would be slow in April.

There were similar conditions in the center-western region of Daloa where 55.2 mm of rain fell last week, 37.1 mm above the average.

In the western region of Soubre, farmers said the weather was boosting the growth of plenty of small pods and that the quality of beans leaving the bush was appreciated by buyers.

“Harvests will be plentiful by mid-April,” said Salame Kone, who farms near Soubre where 31.4 mm fell last week, 15.5 mm above the average.

In the southern regions of Agboville and Divo, and in the eastern region of Abengourou, where rainfall was well above average, farmers said the outlook remained favorable.

Temperatures over the past week ranged from 26.3 to 30.6 degrees Celsius.

Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Juliette Jabkhiro and David Clarke

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