Hot, dry weather last week in most of top grower Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions has raised fears about bean quality and production for the remainder of the main crop, farmers said on Tuesday.
Ivory Coast’s cocoa season started on Oct. 1. The country is currently in the dry season, which runs from mid-November to March.
Farmers predicted high volumes of beans would continue to be sent to port until late January, with production tapering off and declining in quality through the end of the main crop in March if rainfall does not improve.
In the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt, farmers reported no rainfall and said they were 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.