Cool, cloudy weather and a lack of rain last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa growing regions will have hindered the development of the next main crop, though there was good rain and sunshine in some areas, farmers say.
Farmers said this month and August would be crucial for the development of the October-to-March main crop in the world’s top cocoa producer.
In the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt, an analyst reported just 2mm of rain last week, compared with 13mm the previous week. Farmers say the flowers will need more rain and sun to boost the size of the crop.
“There’s not enough rain and there’s a cool wind that could kill the flowers and pods,” said Lazare Ake, who farms on the outskirts of Soubre.
“For the moment the soil moisture is good. But we need a lot of sun or the beginning of the main harvest will be weak.”
Farmers in the southern region of Aboisso reported similar concerns about the weather.
In the centre-western region of Daloa, which produces a quarter of Ivory Coast’s output, farmers reported good rains but cool weather last week.
“The trees are starting to have lots of flowers and pods. If it rains regularly until August, we will have lots of big pods toward the end of September,” said Gervais Kobenan, who farms near Daloa.
Good growing conditions were reported in southern regions of Agboville, Tiassale and Divo and in the western region of Duekoue.