Lack of Rain and Winds Worry Ivory Coast Cocoa Farmers

January 8th, 2019


Category: Cocoa

(Reuters) – Scarce rainfall and dry winds last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa-growing regions have raised concerns about the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said on Monday.

The world’s top cocoa producer is in the dry season which runs from November to late February. Harmattan winds sweep in sand from the Sahara, which can ravage cocoa pods and sap soil moisture, leading to smaller beans.

They added harvesting would slow this month compared with December, however significant volumes of beans will still be harvested in January before decreasing from February.

In the western region of Soubre, farmers said one abundant bout of rainfall this month would help plenty of flowers to survive and to turn into small pods.

“The weather is very hot. If we have a big rainfall this month, the mid-crop will be good,” Kouassi Kouame, who farms near Soubre, said. “Trees have produced a lot of flowers.”

In the centre-western region of Daloa, farmers said they feared the impact of the Harmattan wind, which has picked up in intensity.

“We’re scared a lot of small pods and flowers will dry if the Harmattan becomes too strong,” Albert N’Zue, who farms near Daloa, said, adding the main crop was on track to yield big pods.

Farmers reported similar outlooks elsewhere, saying that the last stage of the main crop was seen to be good.

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