Uneven rainfall in Côte d’Ivoire pushes some cocoa farmers to want more

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Farmers break cocoa pods at a cocoa plantation in Soubre, Côte d’Ivoire, January 6, 2021. REUTERS / Luc Gnago

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ABIDJAN, December 13 (Reuters) – Mixed rains in cocoa growing regions of Côte d’Ivoire last week left some farmers hoping for new harvests, while others remained confident in a good harvest on Monday.

Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest producer of cocoa, is in its dry season which runs from mid-November to March when the rains are weak or scarce.

No rain fell last week in the central-western region of Daloa and the central region of Yamoussoukro, while rainfall was low in the central region of Bongouanou, farmers said.

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They said growing conditions were good at the moment, but production could suffer from February if the seasonal wind from the Harmattan strengthens as temperatures remain high.

“It’s hot and the Harmattan has started. The farms need two good rains before the end of the year,” said Parfait Sohoun, who cultivates near Daloa – an area which accounts for a quarter of the country’s production. cocoa.

The Harmattan descends from the Sahara for a variable period between December and March. It causes a sharp drop in humidity.

Farmers said large deliveries of beans were leaving the bush. The harvest will drop after January, but the supply will remain high, they said.

Rains were above average in the western region of Soubré, but weak and below average in the southern region of Agboville and the eastern region of Abengourou.

“Rain levels are sufficient for a quantity of quality cocoa,” said Salame Koné, who operates near Soubré, where 12.7 millimeters (mm) fell last week, 1.1 mm above sea level. five-year average.

Rainfall was low in the southern Divo region, but farmers said the situation was not of concern as their soil’s moisture content was still high.

The average weekly temperature ranged from 27.6 to 30.3 degrees Celsius.

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Editing by Alessandra Prentice and Marguerita Choy

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