Heavy Rain Raises Hopes of a Bumper Harvest for Ivory Coast Cocoa Farmers 

Ivory Coast farmers said on Monday that they are hopeful of a healthy mid-crop after heavy rains last week in most cocoa-growing regions.

The world’s largest cocoa producer, the Ivory Coast, is approaching the end of its dry season, which runs from mid-November to mid-March.

Farmers throughout the country welcomed abundant rain last week, saying the rain would help them produce a large harvest by the end of May.

According to farmers, the bean supply will improve in June and hold through August if the rain continues regularly from April.

One of the farmers, Ghislain Angovi, who farms near the central region of Yamoussoukro, where 77.7 millimetres (mm) of rain fell last week, 60.7 mm above the five-year average, said he and his colleagues “weren’t expecting much rain now.”

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He added, “We hope the mid-crop will have a good yield.” 

A total of 77.1 mm of rain fell in the centre-western region of Daloa, 58.5 mm above average, and 43.8 mm fell in the central region of Bongouanou, 26.5 mm above average.

Nevertheless, farmers said they didn’t expect bean quality to improve until June. In recent weeks, Ivoirian exporters have rejected approximately half of their bean deliveries due to a dry climate that contributed to poor quality.

Farmers said the peak of the mid-crop crop in June and July was a possibility in the west region of Soubre and the south of Divo, where rains were well above average.

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“Everything is in place on the trees and the fruits are developing well,” said Salame Kone, who farms near Soubre, where 21.7 mm of rain fell last week, 8.7 mm above the average.

Agboville’s central region and Abengourou’s east reported excellent growing conditions. There were above-average rains in both regions as well.

Since poor bean size and quality have driven down the current price, most farmers are waiting to sell their remaining beans until the new farmgate price is set later this month.

The farmgate price is 825 CFA francs per kg, but buyers have offered about 600 CFA francs per kg.

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Average temperatures ranged from 28.1 to 32.2 degrees Celsius in Ivory Coast last week.

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