Light rain mixed with sunny spells last week in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa-growing regions will boost the growth of pods to be harvested early next year, farmers said.
Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, is in its November-to-March dry season when downpours are scarce.
Farmers said that growing conditions were producing good quality beans and the high soil moisture content combined with light rain would strengthen the harvest in the coming months.
In the western region of Soubre, the southern regions of Agboville and Divo and the eastern region of Abengourou, farmers said they expected a better yield in January and February compared with last year's if rainfall is adequate in December.
'Optimistic For Next Year'
"Given the plentiful small pods on trees farmers are optimistic for next year," said Kouassi Kouame, who farms near Soubre, where 7.8 millimetres (mm) of rain fell last week, 8.3 mm below the five-year average.
In the southern regions of Agboville and Divo, where rains were below average last week, farmers said growing conditions were good and that buyers were happy with the quality of beans.
In the centre-western region of Daloa and in the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where rains were also below average, farmers said the green foliage on plantations was a sign that cocoa trees would make it through the dry season with plenty of fruit.
"We think that the state of trees could improve the yield from next year," said Arsene Akafou, who farms near Bongouanou, where 2.5 mm of rain fell last week, 3.7 mm below the average.
Average temperatures ranged from 27 to 30.4 degrees Celsius in Ivory Coast last week.