Most of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions received below-average rainfall last week but good soil moisture content contributed to a favourable outlook for the upcoming main crop, farmers said.
Farmers in the world’s top cocoa producer said the crop was developing well through the ongoing rainy season and the trees on many plantations had more small pods than last year. The main crop begins in October and lasts through March.
"Everything is going well on the farms. This year, we have many more cherelles on the trees. That's a sign that the main crop will be abundant," said Rene Kouassi, who farms in the southern region of Agboville.
Agboville received 23.7 mm of rainfall last week, 8.1 mm below the five-year average.
Similar conditions were reported in the centre-western region of Daloa, the southern region of Divo, and the central region of Yamoussoukro. Rainfall was significantly above average, however, in the eastern region of Abengourou.
In the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt, farmers said more sun would be needed in the coming week to boost the crop and avoid disease.
"The weather is often cloudy and we still feel a lot of humidity on the plantations. We need more sun to help lots of cherelles develop," said Salame Kone, who farms near Soubre.
Soubre recorded 6.6 mm of rain last week, 24.6 mm below the five-year average.
Temperatures over the past week ranged from 23.6 to 26.4 degrees Celsius.