ABIDJAN, Jan 21 (Reuters) - A mix of strong rains and sunny spells last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions augurs well for the April-to-September mid-crop’s development, farmers said on Monday.
Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is in the dry season that runs from November to late February. Healthy rainfall was a welcome development that farmers said would contribute to the growth of flowers and cherelles on trees.
However, farmers and cooperative managers said some beans had spoiled because they had been left on the trees for too long by farmers celebrating the year-end holidays.
In the centre-western region of Daloa, which accounts for a quarter of Ivory Coast’s national output, farmers said cherelles were proliferating on their trees.
“The weather is exceptional. The trees are going to suffer less and we think that we will have lots of beans during the mid-crop,” said Albert N’Zue, who farms near Daloa.
Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall in Daloa, which includes the city of Bouafle, was 19.1 millimetres (mm) last week, 17.2 mm above average.
Farmers in the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt, said the healthy rainfall would cause new flowers to blossom.
“This rain and heat are going to help many cherelles to grow significantly. If the rain continues, the beans will be high quality,” said Koffi Kouame, who farms near Soubre.
Rainfall in Soubre, which includes the cities of San Pedro and Sassandra, stood at 10.7 mm last week, 7.1 mm above the five-year average.
Farmers were upbeat in other regions too. In the western region of Man, data showed rainfall at 25.9 mm last week, 24 mm above average.
In the southern regions of Divo and Agboville and the central regions of Yamoussoukro and Bongouanou, rainfall was also well above average last week. It was slightly below average in the eastern region of Aboisso.
Average temperatures ranged from 27.58 to 30.76 degrees Celsius. (Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly Editing by Aaron Ross and Edmund Blair)