November 18, 2019 / 1:42 PM / 9 months ago

Ivory Coast hot and humid weather boosts cocoa crop - farmers

ABIDJAN, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Above average rainfall mixed with heat last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa growing region will boost the quality of the crop, farmers said on Monday.

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is in the dry season, which runs from mid-November to March, when rain is scarce or light.

Farmers said weather conditions were excellent for the beans drying process, and that buyers were loading plenty of good quality beans in villages.

With a large amount of big pods on trees, harvesting would continue to pick up in December and January, they said.

“The weather is very hot and there are rains. These are great conditions for a long main crop,” said Lucien Kacou, who farms in the outskirts of Soubre.

Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall in Soubre, which includes the regions of San Pedro and Sassandra, was 28.1 millimetres (mm), 10.4 mm above the five-year average.

Farmers in the southern region of Divo, where rainfall was 40.3 mm last week compared with the average of 24.8 mm, said good rainfall in December and a mild dry season would avoid a tightness of supply in February and March.

In the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, in the southern region of Agboville and in the western region of Man, where rainfall was above average last week, farmers said they were expecting a good harvest in the next two months.

In the centre-western region of Daloa, farmers said they hoped the rains would not stop.

“With such hot weather if the rains stop, trees would suffer and the beans would be smaller starting in February,” said Albert N’Zue, who farms near Daloa.

Data showed rainfall in the region of Daloa, which includes the region of Bouafle, was 28.9 mm last week, 20.9 mm above the five-year average.

Average temperatures ranged from 26.4 to 28.1 Celsius. (Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Juliette Jabkhiro and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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