Rain to Boost Cocoa

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Above-average rainfall last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions should boost the April-September mid-crop but strong winds are worrying, farmers said on Monday, after weeks of dryness.

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is now in the rainy season, which runs from mid-March to late October. Abundant showers are expected to begin this month.

In the centre-western region of Daloa, which produces a quarter of the national output, farmers welcomed recent rainfall as they hope it will help small pods grow bigger.

“We still need abundant rainfall this month for pods and beans to be bigger in the next couple of months,” said Serge N’Da, who farms near Daloa. “The harvest is going on well.”

Data collected by Reuters showed that rainfall in Daloa, including the region of Bouafle, was at 24.1 millimetres last week, 3.9 mm above the five-year average.

In the western region of Soubre, farmers said plenty of pods were ripening on trees thanks to good weather, but strong winds following rains threatened flowers and cherelles.