Heavy rains help Ivory Coast cocoa, but some farmers fear flooding

2 minute read

A farmer prepares to collect a cocoa pod at a cocoa farm in Alepe, Ivory Coast December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

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ABIDJAN, June 27 (Reuters) - Above-average rains last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions were good for development of the next October-to-March main crop, but much more moisture could be damaging, farmers said on Monday.

The world’s top cocoa-producing country is in its rainy season from April to mid-November, with farmers reporting unusually heavy rains last week in the western region of Soubre, the southern regions of Agboville and Divo and the eastern region of Abengourou.

It was difficult to harvest pods on trees for the mid-crop, and also to dry and store beans after harvesting, farmers said.

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"The rains were very strong. It's hard to keep the beans in good condition," said Alexandre Boni, who farms near Agboville, where 128.1 mm of rain fell, 70 mm above the five-year average.

"There is also a risk that some fields will be flooded," he added.

Similar fears were voiced in Soubre and Abengourou, both of which had more than 99 mm of rain last week, 47.5 mm and 46.7 mm above their respective five-year averages.

In the west-central region of Daloa and in the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where rains were also above average, farmers said they were happy because flowers were proliferating on trees for a strong start to the main crop in October.

"The weather is good. We could be getting a lot of cocoa from September," said Amani N’Guessan, who farms near Yamoussoukro, where 71.8 mm fell last week, 44 mm above the average.

Weekly average temperatures ranged from 24.8 to 27.7 degrees Celsius.

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Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly Editing by Estelle Shirbon and David Goodman

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