Rain Brings Hope To Many Ivory Coast Cocoa Growing Regions
Heavy rains in most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa regions bode well for pod development in the last stage of the mid-crop last week but dry conditions remain a concern in other areas, farmers said on Tuesday.
Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is harvesting the mid-crop, which runs from April to September.
Now that the West African nation is in the rainy season, farmers said they hoped abundant downpours and sunny weather could help a strong end to the crop.
In the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt, an analyst reported 62 millimetres of rain in the past seven days, compared with 4 mm last week.
The rain was welcome for Salame Kone, who farms in the outskirts of Soubre. He said the size and quality of beans had been poor until now in the season, but the rain could change farmers’ luck.
“If the kind of rain from this week continues, we are certain that there will be a lot of quality pickings toward the end of the mid-crop,” said Kone.
In the centre-western region of Daloa, which alone produces a quarter of Ivory Coast’s national output, farmers reported one abundant downpour this week.
Albert N’Zue, who farms by Daloa, said if the rains continued, it would mean not only a strong end to the mid-crop but a promising beginning to the main harvest.
“It’s a rain that will help the cocoa trees because the ground was soaked well,” said N’Zue. “We also think it will rain this week because the weather is ominous.”