Ivory Coast cocoa growing conditions good
May 02, 2013
Most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa growing regions saw a healthy mix of rainfall and sunshine last week, but small bean size and poor quality remained a major concern in several areas, farmers said on Tuesday. Harvesting of the April-to-September mid-crop is off to a slow start after dry, hot conditions at the beginning of the year led to many flowers and small pods withering.
The return of the rains since March has brightened the outlook though, and most traders and exporters are predicting an abundant mid-crop harvest. The median forecast from a Reuters poll of traders earlier this month put the mid-crop at 400,000 tonnes, above the average production over the past five years, but below 2010/11’s record output of 472,000 tonnes.
“The rains will be more regular and more abundant beginning in May,” said an Abidjan-based meteorologist, asking not to be named. In the western region of Duekoue, farmers reported two good showers and sunshine. “It’s okay here. The climate is good for growing and drying cocoa,” said Duekoue farmer and co-operative manager Amara Kone.
“Harvesting is really getting going, and there’s a lot starting to come out. Yesterday we sent 40 tonnes down to Abidjan,” he said. In the western region of Soubre, an analyst reported 45 mm of rainfall, compared with 82 mm the week before. “The farmers are starting to have plenty of cocoa to sell. If the rains are good in May, the mid-crop (harvesting) could extend into August,” said farmer Koffi Kouame.
Similar growing conditions were reported in the western region of Gagnoa, in the southern regions of Divo and Gagnoa, and in the south-eastern region of Aboisso. In the centre-western region of Daloa, responsible for around a quarter of Ivory Coast’s national output, farmers reported no rainfall for the second consecutive week. “We want rain in order to improve bean quality. And that’s not the case for the moment,” said Daloa farmer Marcel Aka.
“The harvest is picking up and we worry we’ll have small beans for a large part of the mid-crop. That will make us lose lots of money,” he said. In the eastern region of Abengourou, an analyst reported 22 mm of rainfall, up from 2 mm the previous week. “The cocoa is starting to come out. The farmers want lots of rain in May to have a long mid-crop,” said Denis Kablan, who farms near Abengourou. In coastal regions of Sassandra and San Pedro, farmers reported no rainfall during the week. “It’s not raining. Many trees have lost leaves. The mid-crop will be very bad here,” said Labbe Zoungrana, who farms near San Pedro. Source Reuters
Published: Zarai Media Team
World Agriculture, World Agriculture News