Rain was below average in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa-growing regions last week, with more downpours needed to strengthen the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said.
April, the first month in the rainy season that stretches to mid-November, has been hotter and dryer than usual in Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer.
Many farmers said more rain was needed to boost small- and medium-sized pods on trees.
They added that mid-crop harvests would be limited until the end of April but would start picking up the following month.
Cocoa bean buyers have been disappointed by the quality of beans produced so far, the farmers said.
"It is alright for now... but it needs to start raining heavily for beans to be big and harvests abundant," said Dominique Bekon, who farms near the eastern region of Abengourou, where 22.7 millimetres (mm) fell last week, 1.6 mm below the five-year average.
In the southern region of Agboville and in the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where rains were also below average, farmers said more downpours would strengthen the development of the mid-crop.
They said local buyers were asking them to sort through their beans before selling them.
But in the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt, farmers said downpours were sufficient for cocoa trees to yield as many beans as last season.
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"We have a lot of sunshine and if it continues to rain well, harvests will be abundant," said Kouassi Kouame, who farms near Soubre, where 25.2 mm fell last week, 4.8 mm above the five-year average.
Similar remarks were made in the southern region of Divo and in the center-western region of Daloa, where rains were also above average.
Weekly average temperatures were ranging from 28.2 to 31.3 degrees Celsius.