Ivory Coast cocoa farmers begin harvest
Ivory Coast cocoa farmers are preparing to start harvest as below average rainfall last week in most of top grower Ivory regions is expected to support the development of the upcoming main crop.
Farmers said with harvesting set to begin early they expect quality of beans to be good but think more rainfall in he months ahead is requirement to boost growth.
Farmers across the country said they were preparing to start harvesting this week ahead of the October-to-March main crop. Pods were ripening on trees, boosted by high soil moisture content from the ongoing rainy season, they said.
The size and quality of the harvest will be good until November, but continued rainfall will be needed in September and October to extend that to December, they said.
“Many farmers are preparing for the harvest,” said Salame Kone, who farms in the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt. “We are going to start slowly, but it will pick up in a few weeks.”
Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall in Soubre at 9.6 millimetres (mm) last week, 5.4 mm below the five-year average.