ABIDJAN, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Above average rains were
recorded in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions last
week, bolstering the potential for high-yield harvests ahead of
the marketing season if accompanied by occasional dry spells,
farmers said on Monday.
Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer is heading
towards the end of its April to mid-November rainy season when
downpours are abundant.
Cocoa production requires heavy rain with intervals of sunny
spells for growing and drying the beans.
Farmers in the central regions of Bongouanou, Yamoussoukro
and Daloa welcomed last week's rains, which had followed a spell
of dry weather the week before.
"The cocoa trees have received good moisture. The quality of
beans will be good until January at least," said Albert N'Zue,
who farms near Daloa, where 33.1 millimetres (mm) of rain fell
last week, 2.5 mm above the average.
But in the western region of Soubre, at the heart of Ivory
Coast's cocoa belt, farmers cautioned that more dry spells would
be needed to prevent beans from moulding after they are
"We need more sun to improve the quality of beans," said
Salame Kone, who farms near Soubre, where 46 (mm) fell last
week, 27.2 mm above the five-year average.
Sunny or not, farmers across the country expect harvesting
to pick up in early October, when new farmgate prices are
The weekly average temperature in Ivory Coast ranged from
25.3 to 27.8 degrees Celsius last week.
(Reporting by Loucoumane Colibaly
Editing by Cooper Inveen and David Evans)