Rains mixed with good sunny spells last week in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions would help the development of the April to September mid-crop, farmers and analysts said on Monday.
In the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt, one analyst working for an industrial plantation reported 71 millimetres of rains and farmers said abundant rains were beneficial for a better mid-crop compared with last season.
The weather is good, so the mid-crop will be good, said farmer Lazare Ake who farms in the outskirts of Soubre.
The farms are in a good state and we're happy to see a lot of small pods on the trees.
Farmers are increasingly struggling to sell their cooca, as exports grind to a halt because of Ivory Coast's political crisis, but weather has been good.
An analyst in Soubre said abundant rains would enable flowers and small pods on the trees to proliferate in March. There will be a lot more cocoa this year than last, he said.
In the coastal region of Sasandra, analysts reported 9.5 millimetres of rains and farmers said growing conditions were improving week after week.
The cocoa trees have not suffered the losses that they did in the last dry season. There's an abundance of humidity, said agronomist Lassne Traore.
Farmer Labbe Zoungrana, who farms near San Pedro, said:
What happens in March will be crucial. We need regular rains to help the beans to be of good quality.
In the eastern region of Abengourou, analysts reported 27 millimetres of rains mixed with sunny spells. Farmers said the moisture would maintain the development of flowers and small pods and the first beans of the mid-crop in the region would be available in mid-April.
We're optimistic because of the high level of humidity, said farmer Michel Koffi.
In the centre-western region of Daloa, producing the quarter of Ivory Coast's national output, farmers reported two good rains which would boost the mid-crop.