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Ivory Coast abundant rains could boost cocoa mid-crop, farmers say



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Corrects paragraph 9 to show rainfall above, not below, average

ABIDJAN, June 17 (Reuters) -Mainly above-average rains last week in most of Ivory Coast's major cocoa regions augur well for a strong finish of the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said on Monday.

The world's top cocoa producer is in its rainy season, which runs officially from April to mid-November. Rains are typically abundant during this period.

Farmers in general across the country said the weather was in line with their expectation.

Farmers said plenty of small and average pods currently on trees would ensure abundant harvest from August if the weather remained good in July.

Cocoa farming requires a mix of regular rainfall and sunshine. Farmers said the sun would be an essential factor during the next weeks for the development of the crop as a lack of enough sun could trigger disease in plantations.

"We're well on the way to having lots of cocoa from August onwards. But we'll need enough sun," said Antoine Yavo, who farms near the southern region of Agboville, where 84.2 millimetres (mm) fell last week, 20.3 mm above the five-year average.

In the western region of Soubre, where rains were below average, in the southern of region of Divo and in the eastern region of Abengourou, where rains were above average, farmers said beans from the bush were of significant volume but the harvest could be abundant in August and September if rains were abundant in July.

In the centre-western region of Daloa and in the central region of Bongouanou, where rains were below average last week, and in the central region of Yamoussoukro, where rains were above average, farmers said the level of moisture was sufficient to boost the output.

"Weather conditions are improving. We hope it will continue to rain so that the trees can produce a lot," said Emile Kadio, who farms near the central region of Yamoussoukro, where 41.1 mm fell last week, 11.1 mm above the average.

The weekly average temperature across Ivory Coast ranged from 25.3 to 28.7 degrees Celsius.



Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Anait Miridzhanian and Susan Fenton

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