Ivory Coast Cocoa Mid-Crop Develops Well Despite Poor Rains
Rainfall was below average last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions but good soil moisture content helped the development of the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said.
Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is in the dry season that runs from November to late February, and the few rains are crucial to the development of the mid-crop.
Farmers in the bush said trees were carrying plenty of cherelles, small pods and flowers and were healthy, showing green foliage and new leaves.
They added one good rainfall in the first half of February and another in the second half would boost the quality and size of the mid-crop.
"Everything is going well for now. Harvesting is still on going," Anatole Gnaly, who farms on the outskirts of Soubre, said. "We need some more rains well shared in February for a good and abundant harvest," he added.
Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall in Soubre was at 1.6 millimetres last week, 2.3 millimetres below the five-year average.
In the centre-western region of Daloa, which accounts for a quarter of Ivory Coast's national output, farmers said they expected the mid-crop to be abundant compared with the previous season.
"If there is enough rain in February we will see plenty of cocoa in the bush starting in May," Raphael Kouame, who farms near Daloa, said.
Data showed there was no rain in Daloa last week, which is 2.7 millimetres below average.
Rains were also below average in the southern region of Divo, in the central regions of Bongouanaou and Yamoussoukro, and in the western region of Man. Farmers there were optimistic on the cocoa outlook.
However, rains were above average in the eastern region of Abengourou and in the southern region of Agboville.
"We hope the beans will be big for a long period of time," Fabrice Yao, who farms near Abengourou, said.
Rainfall in Abengourou was at 6.9 millimetres, 3.9 millimetres above average.
Average temperatures ranged from 26.74 to 30.62 degrees Celsius.