Wet weather in Ivory Coast could threaten cocoa crop size

By: | at 10:43 AM | Maritime  

Abundant rains combined with infrequent and short spells of sunshine in most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa-growing regions created wet growing conditions last week that could dent the size of the April-to-September crop, farmers said on Monday.

The marketing season for the mid-crop in the world’s top cocoa grower opened on April 1 and harvesting is expected to start to decline from mid-July.

Farmers said frequent spells of sunshine spells would be needed in the next few weeks to ensure a healthy harvest.

Wet weather has attracted insects to the plantations and some pods have been rotting on the trees of farms where there is insufficient place to store the beans.

“The beans will be ruined before our eyes. It has become difficult to work. We can’t dry them adequately,” said farmer Etienne Yao in the southern region of Aboisso.

He said it had rained for almost the entire week.

Similar growing conditions were reported in the southern regions of Divo, Agboville and Tiassale and in the coastal region of Sassandra.

In the western region of Daloa, which produces a quarter of the country’s output, farmers reported several showers last week.

However some farmers, who have greater storage capacity to avoid beans rotting, said the rainfall was helping. “It is raining abundantly. It will help with the flowering of the main crop,” said farmer Desire M’Bra, near Daloa.

In the Soubre region, also in the west, an analyst reported 57 millimetres (mm) of rain following a very wet week the previous week when 123 mm fell.


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