Heavy Rains Worry Cocoa Farmers

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Above-average rains in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa growing regions have raised concerns about the quality of the beans because of high moisture levels, farmers have said. The marketing season in Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, opened in early October with a new farmgate price of 825 CFA francs ($1.40) per kg set by the government.

Farmers said harvesting was rapidly picking up and large amounts of beans have left the bush but buyers were still unhappy with the quality of the crop, as the beans were too humid and sometimes moldy. Reuters also quoted the farmers to have said high levels of moisture were promising for a healthy harvest in February and March but drier, sunnier weather in November would be crucial for the quality of the main crop.

“The rains need to diminish a lot because there are plenty of beans in the bush that could rot,” said Paul Allangba, who farms in the outskirts of the central region of Yamoussoukro.

Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall in Yamoussoukro, was 62.8 millimetres (mm) last week, 46.8 mm above the five-year average. Similar conditions and the need for sunny spells this month were reported in the central region of Bongouanou.