Patchy rain and intermittent sunshine in the last week over most of Ivory Coast's cocoa regions is helping the main crop grow but there is concern elsewhere over cooler weather, farmers said on Monday.
In the western region of Soubre at the heart of the cocoa belt an analyst reported 15 millimeters of rainfall in the spell, compared with nil the previous week.
"On the whole it's good. We could expect good pickings at the start of the main crop. There's lots of half-formed pods on the trees," said Salam Kone, who farms on the outskirts of Soubre.
"We have sun and a proliferation of good pods that guarantee good pickings in November. But for that we need the right amount of rain and enough sun in September," Kone said.
In the centre-western region of Daloa, which produces 25 percent of Ivory Coast's output, farmers reported light rain in the past week.
"We see lots of flowers and pods on the trees. The harvest could be precocious if the weather gets a bit sunnier in the weeks ahead," said Albert N'Zue, who farms near Daloa.
"We fear rain in September. If it's too abundant there could be cocoa diseases that could reduce the harvest," he said.
In the southern region of Aboisso farmers reported several light showers.
"There are small rains that have fallen on the plantations in the last three weeks with not much sun," said Etienne Yao, who farms on the outskirts of Aboisso.
"It's cloudy. That worries us because we need lots of sun at the moment to boost the flowers and the pods," Yao said. Farmers in Divo said it had not rained and cooler weather was damaging flowers.
"Lots of flowers could transform themselves into little pods. It's a good sign but we need lots of heat going forward," said Amadou Diallo, who farms near Divo.
Good growing conditions were reported in the western region of Duekoue, in the southern regions of Agboville and Tiassale and in the coastal region of San Pedro.