Abidjan — Above-average rain in most of the Ivory Coast’s cocoa-growing regions last week continued to boost the October to March crop, farmers said on Monday, despite fear of the humidity affecting bean drying. Farmers said they expect a big crop this season. Harvesting, which began slowly in some areas, will pick up gradually in October and November. In the western region of Man, including the town of Duekoue, farmers said rain is making it hard to dry beans properly. "The rain is tiring us a bit. We worry the beans will not dry enough and become mouldy if there is not enough sunshine," said farmer Daouda Fofana. Reuters data showed that Man had 79.6mm of rain last week, 42.1mm above the five-year average.

In the western region of Soubre, the heart of the cocoa belt, farmers said trees are laden with good-sized pods to be harvested by the end of this year. "We had good rains this month. If this continues in October, and if the sun shines, the crop yield will be very high," s...

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