Ivory Coast cocoa farmers welcome heavy rains after brief drought

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By Loucoumane Coulibaly

ABIDJAN, September 20 (Reuters)Above-average rains were recorded in most cocoa growing areas of Côte d’Ivoire last week, boosting the potential for high-yielding crops before the marketing season if accompanied by occasional dry spells, said Monday farmers.

Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest producer of cocoa, is heading towards the end of its rainy season from April to mid-November when the showers are abundant.

Cocoa production requires heavy rains with intervals of sunny periods for the growth and drying of the beans.

Farmers in the central regions of Bongouanou, Yamoussoukro and Daloa welcomed last week’s rains, which followed a period of dry weather the previous week.

“The cocoa trees have received good moisture. The quality of the beans will be good until at least January,” said Albert N’Zue, who grows near Daloa, where 33.1 millimeters (mm) of rain fell during the week. last, 2.5 mm above average. .

But in the western region of Soubré, in the heart of Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa belt, farmers warned that drier periods would be needed to prevent the beans from molding after harvest.

“We need more sun to improve the quality of the beans,” said Salame Koné, who grows near Soubré, where 46 (mm) fell last week, 27.2 mm above the five-year average.

Sunny or not, farmers across the country expect the harvest to resume in early October, when new producer prices are announced.

The average weekly temperature in Côte d’Ivoire ranged from 25.3 to 27.8 degrees Celsius last week.

(Report by Loucoumane Colibaly Editing by Cooper Inveen and David Evans)

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