Heavy rains in the cocoa-growing areas in Ivory Coast are causing a delay in the harvesting and selling of cocoa beans and according to farmers they are worried about black-pod disease rotting their crops.
According to Dongo Koffi, a local grower, roads on the way to plantations in the southwestern area of Meagui have been cut off after rivers overflowed and farmers can’t access their crops, which they have no idea how the flowers and pods on the trees are development.
“Everything is stopped at the moment,” Koffi said on the phone. “The sales have slowed down because we can’t harvest. Some farmers have some stocks of beans with them but they can’t sell them, because the roads aren’t accessible.”
While it is still unknown whether production in the Ivory Coast will be affected, any losses because of the rainy season in the world’s largest cocoa producer may help ease some of the pressure on prices, which have gone down by more than a third in the last 12 months due to expectations of a global oversupply.
In other areas: Rains in Cameroon have gone away and farmers are able to clear fields and spray their cocoa plants according to Monda Bakoa, owner of an 11-hectare farm in Ndom in the Litoral region.
In the southeast of Nigeria, many trees have lost their flowers and buds and growth will have to restart despite rain finally falling in the area after 12 days of hot and dry weather while in the southwest region of Nigeria, heavy rain is leading to cases of black-pod disease, in coastal areas specifically. Farmers are unable to afford pesticides to prevent the spread.