Heavy rain and sunny spells last week in Ivory Coast's cocoa regions boosted hopes for a positive outcome for the October-to-March main crop and the April-September mid-crop, farmers said.
Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is in the dry season, which runs from mid-November to March, so these latest downpours have provided some unexpected relief.
"These rains raise hope for February and March," said Gervais Koffi, who farms In the centre-western region of Daloa, which produces a quarter of national output.
Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall there was at 21 millimetres (mm) last week, 16.9 mm above the five-year average.
Impact Of Pandemic
In the western region of Soubre and in the eastern region of Abengourou, farmers said the weather was helping the crop but complained that buying was slow. The coronavirus pandemic has knocked demand for cocoa beans this year.
"There are a lot of beans in the bush. But buying is slow," said Didier Mea, who farms near Abengourou, known for the good quality of its beans.
Abengourou received 16.5 mm of rain last week, 7.8 mm above the average.
Soubre received 8.5 mm of rain last week, 2.7 mm below the average. Farmers there said the soil moisture content was helping the crop.
Farmers said growing conditions were good in the southern regions of Divo, where rains were above average, and in Agboville where rainfall was below average. Last week's average daily temperatures ranged from 26.4 to 30.1 degrees Celsius.