ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Heavy rain and sunny spells last week was expected to boost prospects for Ivory Coast’s main October-March cocoa crop, farmers said on Monday.
Farmers said rainy season downpours had already improved soil moisture for the ongoing April-September mid-crop, but that their attention was beginning to focus on the main harvest and that the weather boded well for that period too.
“We are going to finish the mid-crop well. Everything is green and the trees are doing well,” said Raphael Kouame, who farms near the centre-western region of Daloa, which produces a quarter of Ivory Coast’s national output.
“From July we will begin to prepare for the main crop,” he said.
Data collected by Reuters showed that rainfall last week in Daloa, including the region of Bouafle, reached 67.9 millimetres (mm), 40.9 mm above the five-year average.
In the western region of Soubre, in the heart of the cocoa belt, farmers also said the mid-crop would finish strong thanks to good weather. Data showed that the region received 67.2 mm of rainfall last week, 17 mm above average.
“There is good sun and rain, that’s what the cocoa trees want,” said Lazare Ake, who farms near Soubre. “There are enough pods on the trees. This time is good for them, “Ake said.
Farmers remained optimistic across the board because of the rain.
In the south eastern region of Aboisso, rainfall was at 80 mm last week, 25.9 mm above average. In the western region of Man, where rainfall was at 63.8 mm, 33.2 mm above average.
In the central region of Yamoussoukro, which received 60.4 mm of rain, 33.6 mm above average, farmers said they expected enough beans until the end of the mid-crop.
In southern region of Divo rains totalled 54.3 mm, 16.5 mm above average.
Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Edward McAllister/David Evans