Cocoa Crop in Ivory Coast Seen by Growers Boosted After Rain

Wet weather in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer of cocoa, is helping to benefit the main harvest that will start in October.

Rain from June 11-20 was higher than last year in the southwestern Soubre area, and rose twofold in the coastal town of San Pedro and 32 percent in Tabou, according to national weather data. The region accounts for about 300,000 metric tons of cocoa a year. Ivory Coast’s harvest this season is 1.475 million tons, the International Cocoa Organization says.

“It’s raining in good quantity and the rainfalls are spaced out in time,” said Moussa Zoungrana, head of a group of cocoa-farmer cooperatives in Duekoue, in western Ivory Coast. “It’s a very good thing for the growing of the cocoa beans.”

In Oume, in the south, rain was “abundant” since May, farmer Kakou Ouga said by phone yesterday. “Flowers are starting to grow in the trees,” Ouga said.

Ivory Coast’s main harvest runs from October to March followed by a smaller mid-crop from April to September. “The good weather gives us hope of a good output during the main harvest,” Ouga said.

In Abengourou, in eastern Ivory Coast near Ghana, it hasn’t rained for two weeks after about 10 days of precipitation, Leon Edoukou Adou, head of a local farmer cooperative, said by phone on June 25.

“It’s not a problem for the moment,” he said. “The trees will need some rain not later than early July.” Rain in the eastern town of Bondoukou fell 70 percent in June 11-20, weather data show.

Trees in eastern Ivory Coast are aging and need more rain to produce a good quantity of beans, farmer Theodore Guetat, also based in Abengourou, said by phone June 25.

“I’m a bit worried. It should be raining more,” he said.

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