The 2020/21 main crops will begin in October and the cacao fruit needs enough moisture for proper pod growth and bean development. The summer months of June through August mark the tail end of the 2019/20 midcrop, and trees begin forming pods for the upcoming new season.
Back in June, we reported that the abnormally cool sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of West Africa, could reduce precipitation during the little dry season. Cooler ocean temps during the summer would decrease evaporation and lessen atmospheric convection—a fancy way of saying lower chances for beneficial rain. Many meteorological stations reported as little as 25 percent of normal precipitation.
There is hope that the Living Income Differential premium will provide additional funds and incentives for farmers to use needed inputs and take better care of their crop. Whether it is fertilizer, fungicide, or pesticide use, the farmers should have additional revenue collected from their cocoa crops—if it is properly distributed by the government. There are also rumors that both Ivory Coast’s CCC and Ghana’s Cocobod will raise farmgate prices for the new crop.