Plentiful rainfall and sunshine in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa regions last week should boost the volume and quality of the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers have said.
Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is entering the rainy season, which runs from mid-March to late October when there are regular downpours.
Farmers across the country said harvesting should start next week and that the marketing of the mid-crop was underway.
In the southern region of Divo, farmers welcomed two consecutive weeks of good downpours that helped many cherelles develop into pods.
The Right Mix
"The right mix of rains and sun is giving us a lot of hope for harvesting from June on," said Paul Yobouet, who farms in the outskirts of Divo.
Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall was 57.8 millimetres (mm) last week, 33.8 mm above the five-year average.
In the western region of Soubre farmers said supplies from the bush would rise from next week, as harvesting would start.
"Several fruits of different sizes have appeared on trees. (The) harvest will be abundant and of good quality like last year if rains remain good until next month," said Salif Diarra, who farms near Soubre.
Data showed rainfall in Soubre was 34.7 mm last week, 15.5 mm above average.
Farmers were happy with the weather and said that the cocoa prospect would be good in the eastern region of Abengourou, in the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, and in the western region of Man, where rainfall was above average.
In the southern region of Agboville, the rainfall was below average but farmers said there was no damage at the moment.
In the centre-western region of Daloa, which produces a quarter of Ivory Coast’s national output, farmers said the weather boded well for a healthy harvesting from June.
"Several pods are growing bigger on trees," said Jules Konan, who farms near Daloa.
Rainfall in Daloa was 35.1 mm last week, 13.4 mm above average. Temperatures over the past week ranged from 27.2 to 31.4 degrees Celsius.