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Ivory Coast Rains Boosting Cocoa Crop

FILE: : A farmer prepares to collect a cocoa pod at a cocoa farm in Alepe, Ivory Coast on Dec. 7, 2020.

ABIDJAN - The development of the April-to-September mid-crop could finish strong due to above average rains in most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa growing regions, farmers said on Monday. Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer's rainy season runs officially from April to mid-November.

"It rains almost every other day. It's good for the trees and young fruit,” said Armand Gode, who farms near Soubre, where 109.5 millimeters (mm) fell last week, 71.4 mm above the five-year average.

Farmers said that the weather should help plenty of small pods and cherelles to develop, although some feared that deliveries might become moldy as it was difficult to dry the beans properly.

In the southern regions of Agboville and Divo and in the eastern region of Abengourou, where rains were well above average, farmers forecast an abundant harvest from mid-August but complained about drying conditions.

In the center-western region of Daloa and in the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where rains were below average, farmers said the level of downpours was sufficient to help the trees.

"There is no problem. We have a lot of young fruit on the trees that are developing well," Albert N’Zue, who farms near Daloa, where 21.5 mm fell last week, 3.1 mm below the average.

Average temperatures ranged from 27 to 30.2 degrees Celsius in Ivory Coast last week.