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ABIDJAN: Above average rain, sun and only mild winds last week bode well for Ivory Coast’s April-September cocoa mid-crop and the end of the October-March main crop, farmers said on Monday.

The world’s top cocoa producer is in its dry season which runs from mid-November to March when downpours are scarce. Any rain during that period can bolster crops.

Farmers across the country said plenty of cherelles were developing on trees for a healthy crop come April. They said that while plenty of beans are being produced at this time, the main crop would likely start to trail off by the end of January.

“There was good rain. The mid-crop looks good because the Harmattan wind is mild and there are still a lot of pods on the trees for the main crop,” said Olivier Monsan, who farms near Agboville.

The Harmattan blows dust off the Sahara between December and March, reducing humidity and reducing sunlight.

In the western region of Soubre, the southern regions of Agboville and Divo, and Abengourou in the east, rainfall was above average, which farmers said would strengthen the development of new flowers and cherelles for the mid-crop.

In the centre-western region of Daloa and in the central region of Yamousoukro, where it had not rained, and in the central region of Bongouanou, where rainfall was below average, farmers said growing conditions were good as the soil’s moisture content remained high. Weekly average temperature ranged from 25.9 to 29 Celsius degrees.

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