The NASDAQ website reports that weather over Côte d’Ivoire has improved last week, easing fears that the outbreak of black pod disease will spread.
Currently, the country is in its rainy season, that lasts through November and means the risk of the disease, which is caused by a fungus that thrives in damp conditions, is high. To prevent the spread of the fungus, there need to be periods of dry weather.
The alternation of rain followed by sunshine is the perfect combination for cocoa to flourish, and the farmers are optimistic about this season’s harvest.
Precipitation across the main cocoa growing regions has varied, but some eastern parts saw 20% more rainfall than normal last week. In Soubre, where much of the cocoa is produced, the rains have kept falling, but there were signs of it easing, and farmers were still positive.
“Within two weeks there will be cocoa being dried everywhere,” said Pascal Kouablan, who farms near Soubre, where 24.2 mm fell last week, 2.1 mm above the average.
The consensus now among observers is that the weather conditions should result in an early harvest.