Abundant rains, sun will help Ivory Coast’s cocoa crop – farmers

ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Downpours mixed with sunny spells in most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa regions will help cocoa trees to go through the dry season, which runs from mid-November to March, farmers said on Monday.

Last week’s weather conditions will boost the size of the October-to-March main crop and improve the soil moisture content, helping the trees to reach their maximum potential from December to February, according to farmers from the world’s top cocoa producer.

“The rains are good. From now until February we’ll have plenty of cocoa,” said Kouassi Kouame, who farms near the western region of Soubre, where 49 mm fell last week, 27.3 mm above the five-year average.

In the southern regions of Agboville and Divo and in the eastern region of Abengourou, where rains were above average, farmers said harvesting was picking up and deliveries would rise sharply in December and January as many big pods were already ripe.

In the central-western region of Daloa and in the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where rains were also above average, farmers said the mix of sun and rainfall would help beans inside pods to grow large in size and of good quality in January and February.

“The cocoa will be of good quality this season during the main crop,” said Remi Kanga, who farms near Bongouanou, where rainfall reached 51.7 mm last week, 40 mm above the average.

Ivory Coast’s average temperature ranged from 26.7 to 29.3 degrees Celsius.

(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Anait Miridzhanian and Tomasz Janowski)