Farmers in Cote d'Ivoire have predicted a decline in cocoa production due to dry weather in cocoa producing regions
Dry weather in top cocoa growing regions in Cote d’Ivoire’s has raised concerns about the prospects of the cocoa season.
The quality of bean and general production of the main crop are feared to be affected by the weather condition.
Cocoa farmers however believe that high tonnes of beans would continue to be sent to port until late January but foresaw a decline in production in March if rainfall does not improve.
According to CGTN Africa farmers in the western region of Soubre, which is the heart of the cocoa belt, have lamented the low rainfall and are worried about crop damage.
“It is extremely hot. If this continues and we don’t have rain in January, the beans will be small starting in February,” said Salame Kone, who farms on the outskirts of Soubre.
Mr Kone added that “Many farmers are back in their fields after the holidays. The harvest is continuing and a lot of cocoa is going to leave the bush this month.”
In the central-western region of Daloa, which accounts for a quarter of Cote d’Ivoire’s national output of cocoa, farmers said they expected one good harvest per month after January.
“If this heat persists, it is going to raise the risk of damage. Not only will many small pods dry out but the pods will be of poor quality,” said Albert N‘Zue, who farms near Daloa.
Similar conditions have been recorded in the southern regions of Agboville, Divo and Tiassale, and in the eastern region of Abengourou which leave the cocoa producing potential of the West African country in doubt.