Scattered rain and lots of sun in most of Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions brightened hopes for the cocoa main crop last week, although some eastern plantations still needed more rain, farmers said on Monday.
Weather in July and August is crucial to determining the size of the October-to-March cocoa main crop, with trees requiring a delicate mixture of sun and rain to thrive.
After a long dry season this year, the weather began to improve in August, farmers said. In the western region of Duekoue, farmers said it had rained almost all last week.
"Everything is going well on the plantations," said Amara Kone, who farms in the outskirts of Duekoue.
"There's a good mix of small and medium-sized pods on the trees," Kone said.
In the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt, farmers reported light rain and good sunshine last week. In the centre-western region of Daloa, the weather was adequate for the development of the main crop, farmers said.
"The rain is good. The farmers aren't worried anymore," said Raphael Kouadio, who farms near Daloa.
Good growing conditions were also reported in southern regions Aboisso, Agboville, and Divo, and in the western region of Gagnoa.
In the eastern region of Abengourou, however, farmers said it had only rained in some places.
"Overall it might be okay. If it rains regularly this month, the harvest will be good at the start of the season," said N'Dri Kouao, who farms in Niable near the border with Ghana.
(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Nellie Peyton, editing by David Evans)