ABIDJAN — Below average rainfall across most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa-growing regions last week has not affected crops as harvests pick up, farmers said on Monday.
The world’s top cocoa producer is in the midst of the rainy season, which runs from April to mid-November. Rains are usually abundant and heavy during this time.
Several farmers said on Monday that soil moisture was high enough for below-average rainfall in parts of the country not to affect the April-to-September mid-crop for the time being.
They pointed to green foliage as a sign cocoa trees were healthy, and said a growing number of farmers had started drying beans as harvests picked up.
Demand from local grinders was also rising, the farmers said.
“The trees are in good shape and farmers are picking many pods,” said Etienne Ambe, who farms near the western region of Soubre, where 23.7 millimeters (mm) of rain fell last week, 0.7 mm below the five-year average.
Rain was also below average in the southern regions of Divo, the center-western region of Daloa, and in the central regions of Yamoussoukro.
Farmers there hoped for more downpours to boost crops.
“The sky is more and more cloudy. We hope it will rain a lot this month for the mid-crop to be long,” said Amon Kanga, who farms near Daloa, where 11.7 mm of rain fell last week, 9.9 mm below average.
Rain was above average last week in the southern region of Agboville, the eastern region of Abengourou and the central region of Bongouanou.
Farmers there said growing conditions were good.
Average temperatures in Ivory Cost ranged between 27.2 and 30.7 degrees Celsius last week. (Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Sofia Christensen and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)