More downpours are needed to strengthen Ivory Coast's April-to-September cocoa mid-crop despite above-average rains in most growing regions, farmers said.
Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, is in the dry season, which runs from November to late February. Scarce showers during this period are crucial to the development of the mid-crop.
Farmers in the bush said hot weather was responsible for a tightness in supply as the main crop (October-March) was tailing off, but that the outlook for the mid-crop was better than it had been last season at the same period.
Farmers said plenty of cherelles and pods of different sizes had survived and a good shower would help the crop to be long and large.
"The pods are growing well but will need more and more rain, as soils are starting to dry a little," Roger Zamble, who farms in the western region of Soubre, told Reuters.
Data collected by Reuters showed that rainfall in Soubre, including the regions of Sassandra and San Pedro, was at 8 millimeters (mm) last week, 2.4 mm above average.