Ivory Coast Rains Bring Relief To Cocoa Farmers
Above-average rains last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa-growing regions could boost the last stage of the April-to-September cocoa mid-crop, farmers said.
Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is currently in its rainy season, which runs from mid-March to late October, when there are meant to be regular downpours.
After a period of irregular and below-average showers, farmers were happy with the volume of rain last week.
"The amount of rain is good in order to have lots of cocoa towards the end of the mid-crop," said Alphonse Gba, who farms in the outskirts of the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa-belt.
Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall in Soubre was at 70 millimetres (mm) last week, 19.6 mm above the five-year average.
In the southern regions of Divo and Agboville and the eastern region of Abengourou, known for the good quality of its beans, rainfall was above average.
Farmers said if heavy rains continued until late July, it would encourage the next main crop to start earlier.
In the centre-western region of Daloa, which produces a quarter of Ivory Coast's national output, farmers said plenty of young pods were appearing on trees.
"In three months we'll have lots of cocoa," said Albert N’Zue, who farms near Daloa.
Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall in Daloa was 48.5 mm last week, 22.4 mm above the five-year average.
In the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where downpours were above average, farmers made similar comments.
Temperatures over the past week ranged from 26.3 to 29.2 degrees Celsius.