Ivory Coast Farmers Welcome Heavy Rain For Cocoa Mid-Crop
Cocoa farmers across Ivory Coast said weather conditions were largely favourable for the April-to-September mid-crop last week, with heavy rain in some regions and more expected elsewhere.
The world's top cocoa producer is in its rainy season, which runs from April to mid-November, and farmers said that there were abundant cocoa pods on the trees to be harvested until June, adding that regular rain in the coming weeks would improve the quantity and quality of the mid-crop from July to September.
Growing conditions were good in the centre-western region of Daloa, which produces about a quarter of the national output, the western regions of Man and Soubre and the eastern region of Abengourou last week, farmers said.
Data collected by Reuters showed that rainfall was above average in all of those regions, reaching 119.6 millimetres (mm) in Daloa, 88 mm above the five-year average, and 87.7 mm in Man, 56.9 mm above the average.
In the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, farmers said more rain was needed, but that they expected it to come soon, since the weather was cloudy and hot.
"If there is not heavy rain in the next two weeks we will have losses because it is very hot," said Armand Locosue, who farms near Bongouanou, which received 15.9 mm of rain last week, 16.1 mm below the average.
Rainfall was also below average in the southern regions of Agboville and Divo but farmers remained optimistic, saying they expected more in the coming weeks.
Last week's average daily temperatures ranged from 27.5 to 31.8 degrees Celsius.