May 27, 2019 / 2:34 PM / 23 days ago

Ivorian cocoa farmers expect dry spell to weaken mid-crop

ABIDJAN, May 27 (Reuters) - Below-average rainfall last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa-growing regions could cause the April to September mid-crop to decline in some regions, farmers said on Monday.

In the centre-western region of Daloa and in the central regions of Yamoussoukro and Bongouanou, farmers said supply would be cut short from June to August as a consequence of the lack of rain.

“It’s very hot and rains are too weak to increase production,” said Amani Julien, who farms near Daloa. “We will have very few beans to sell in the coming months.”

Data collected by Reuters showed that rainfall in Daloa, including the region of Bouafle, was 5 millimetres (mm) last week, 20.4 mm below the five-year average.

However, in the southern regions of Agboville and Divo, as well as in the western region of Soubre and the eastern region of Aboisso, farmers said there would still be a good harvest in June, after which they were expecting the mid-crop to drop.

Farmers added that rainfall in June would be crucial for the final mid-crop output. “A lot of mid-sized pods are on the trees, if it rains a lot in June harvesting will go up in August and September,” said Salame Kone, who farms near Soubre. Data showed that rainfall in Soubre, which includes the regions of Sassandra and San Pedro, was 26.6 mm last week, 19.9 mm below the five-year average. Average temperatures ranged between 26.48 and 29.18 degrees Celsius. (Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly Editing by Juliette Jabkhiro and David Holmes)

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