ENSO Update – Dec’21
December 20, 2021
The harmattan is a dry, northeasterly desert wind that blows from the Sahara. It sometimes reaches the African cocoa regions during the Northern Hemisphere winter, drying the plants and soil and hindering precipitation. If persistent, it can be devastating to the cocoa crops, affecting the survival of the mid-crop and the bean sizes of the main crop tail.
Because of the late main crop profiles in Ivory Coast and Ghana this year, a strong harmattan season would be a particularly large threat, as it could affect a larger part of the total cocoa production than average.
For the moment, the harmattan poses no particular threat to the African cocoa crops this year. Furthermore, the multi-model prediction system also favors normal or milder-than-normal harmattan conditions during the rest of the main dry season over most of the cocoa regions.
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