ABIDJAN (Reuters) - High temperatures and light rain helped the start of the cocoa crop in the world's top exporter Ivory Coast last week after heavy rains in recent months, farmers said on Monday.
The dry season runs from mid-November to March, ahead of which farmers say they need rain to maintain soil moisture and boost yields.
"If the dry season is not too strong and we have good rain in November, the beans will be big and of good quality after January," said Justin Assande, who farms in the outskirts of the southern region Divo.
"There are more and more trucks coming to get the beans," he said.
The season begins on Oct. 1 but picks up in earnest in November. So far, farmers across the cocoa belt are upbeat about the weather.
Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall in Divo was at 29.7 mm, 9.4 mm above average. Rain in the Soubre region which includes Sassandra and San Pedro was at 19 mm, 0.6 mm below average. Rainfall in Daloa was at 12.4 mm, 2.1 mm below average.
In the south eastern region of Aboisso, data showed that rainfall was 38.1 mm, 14.2 mm below the average.
The temperature in cocoa regions continued to rise, ranging from 25.6 degrees Celsius to 28.9 degrees last week, compared with 26 degrees Celsius to 28.7 degrees the previous week, according to the data.
(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Edward McAllister and David Evans)