Ivorian cocoa farmers fear black pod disease amid heavy rainfall
ABIDJAN, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Above average rainfall across
Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions last week could impact the
health of the October-to-March main crop, farmers said on
Monday, just days before harvests are expected to begin.
Farmers said they were satisfied with the number of pods on
trees, but worried too much rain would trigger black pod disease
by preventing the first cocoa beans from fully drying.
"Many farmers will start harvesting next week. There are
concerns over the drying process because it is very damp around
the area," said Sebastien Dechi, who farms near the southern
region of Agboville.
"We have seen brown rot on some of the trees, but nothing
serious for the moment," added Dechi.
Reuters data showed the southern region of Agboville saw
28.2 millimetres (mm) of rain last week, 13.8 mm above the
Farmers in the eastern region of Abengourou said they
expected the main crop to be more abundant than last season,
when yields started dwindling as early as February.
"This year harvests will go far," said Kevin Aka, who farms
Data showed Abengourou, which includes the town of Aboisso,
saw 35.5 mm of rain last week, 19.7 mm above average.
In the centre-western region of Daloa, which produces a
quarter of Ivory Coast’s output, farmers said cocoa cooperatives
were preparing warehouses for the first batch of beans.
Daloa, which includes the town of Bouafle, saw 45 mm of rain
last week, 15 mm above average.
In the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa
belt, farmers said they were happy with the weather.
"There are more pods on trees now than during the same
period last season," said Lazare Ake, who farms near Soubre.
Soubre, which includes the towns of Sassandra and San Pedro,
saw 34.5 mm of rain last week, 17.8 mm above average.
Reuters data showed the following levels of rainfall in
other Ivory Coast cocoa producing regions last week:
* Rainfall was 10.7 mm above average in the southern region
Divo, at 29.3 mm.
* In the western region of Man, which includes the town of
Duekoue, rainfall was 87.7 mm last week, 49.5 mm above average.
* Rainfall was at 33.3 mm in the central region of
10.6 mm above average.
Average temperatures in the cocoa-growing regions ranged from
23.9 to 25.5 degrees Celsius.
(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Sofia
Christensen and Mark Potter)
© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.