Heavy rains help Ivorian cocoa, but some farmers fear flooding


A farmer prepares to collect a cocoa pod at a cocoa farm in Alepe, Ivory Coast December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

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ABIDJAN, June 27 (Reuters) – Above-average rains last week in most cocoa growing areas of Ivory Coast were good for the development of the next main crop from October to March, but much more moisture could be damaging, farmers said on Monday.

The world’s top cocoa-producing country is in its rainy season from April to mid-November, with farmers reporting unusually heavy rains last week in the western region of Soubré, the southern regions of Agboville and Divo and the eastern region of Abengourou.

It was difficult to harvest the pods from the trees for mid-harvest, as well as to dry and store the beans after harvest, farmers said.

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“The rains were very heavy. It’s difficult to keep the beans in good condition,” said Alexandre Boni, who farms near Agboville, where 128.1mm of rain fell, 70mm above the five-year average.

“There is also a risk that some fields will be flooded,” he added.

Similar fears were expressed in Soubre and Abengourou, which both recorded more than 99mm of rain last week, 47.5mm and 46.7mm above their respective five-year averages.

In the central western region of Daloa and in the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where rains were also above average, farmers said they were satisfied as flowers were proliferating on the trees for a good start to the main harvest. in October.

“The weather is good. We could have a lot of cocoa from September,” said Amani N’Guessan, who farms near Yamoussoukro, where 71.8mm fell last week, 44mm above average. .

Average weekly temperatures ranged from 24.8 to 27.7 degrees Celsius.

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Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly Editing by Estelle Shirbon and David Goodman

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