Ivory Coast cocoa farmers welcome light rain
ABIDJAN, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast cocoa farmers welcomed light rainfall last week, which will be good for the development of the October-to-March main crop, they said on Monday.
Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, is in its rainy season which runs from April to mid-November.
Rainfall was below average last week in the southern region of Agboville, the eastern region of Abengourou, the centre-western region of Daloa and the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro.
Farmers in those regions said soil moisture remained high and the dryer conditions would help prevent plant disease.
The mid-crop is finishing strong and the first beans of the main crop should be available by mid-September, but the quality of the beans will depend on the weather next month, they added.
"The main crop is looking good, and the mid-crop will finish with enough beans," said Daniel Behibro, a farmer in the outskirts of Daloa, where 17.1 millimetres (mm) of rain fell last week, 6.9 mm below the five-year average.
Rainfall was above average in the western region of Soubre and the southern region of Divo, where farmers also gave a positive report.
"Everything is going well on the plantations. There are lots of big pods that are ripening for the main crop," said Kouassi Kouame in Soubre, where 26.1 mm fell last week, 11.8 mm above the average.
Farmers said more rain and sun would be needed in the next two months to boost the size and quality of the main crop.
Average temperatures ranged from 22.8 to 24.7 degrees Celsius last week.
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