Ivory Coast Rain Strengthens Cocoa Crop, While Cold Raises Concern

By Reuters
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Ivory Coast Rain Strengthens Cocoa Crop, While Cold Raises Concern

Above-average rain last week in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions will boost the development of the upcoming main crop, while cool and cloudy weather raised concerns for growth, farmers said.

Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, is in its rainy season which runs from April to mid-November.

Farmers across the country said the October-to-March main crop was shaping up well, with trees full of cocoa pods at different stages of growth. The presence of lots of small pods and flowers means the harvest could last long, farmers said.

However, the cooler weather and lack of sun could kill off small pods and flowers and cause blight, they added.

Average temperatures ranged from 23.9 to 25.6 degrees Celsius in Ivory Coast last week.


"Cocoa trees don't really like cold. If the cold continues for several weeks many small pods and flowers may die and reduce the harvest," said Innocent Atta, who farms near the centre-western region of Daloa, where 26.9 millimetres (mm) of rain fell last week, 5.3 mm above the five-year average.

Above-Average Rainfall

Farmers gave a similar report in the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where rainfall was also above average.

Farmers said trees looked good with lots of ripe pods in the western region of Soubre, where rainfall was above average, and in the southern regions of Agboville and Divo and the eastern region of Abengourou, where rainfall was below average.

"If the month of September is sunny, we will have a big harvest this year," said Kouassi Kouame, who farms near Soubre, where 15.1 mm of rain fell last week, 2.6 mm above the average.

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