By GBENGA OLARINOYE
OWENA-IJESA — Cocoa farmers in Osun have expressed grave concern over their inability to dry their cocoa beans due to incessant rainfall, according to reports.
The downpour in the past two weeks is said to be equally affecting the mood of the farmers as they lament that cannot dry their cocoa beans in the sun.
The farmers are now praying for the sun to shine as their inability to dry the cocoa beans might result in great losses for them.
A visit to Owena and some farm camps such as Nonber, Ajebandele, Olosan and Aba-Ako, all in Oriade Local Government Area of Osun revealed similar situations.
The farmers in all these areas with fermented cocoa beans were seen waiting endlessly for sunlight.
Other farmers, who had already put their beans on hard surface in the open for sunlight were also observed looking towards the sky every minute to see if the sun will shine.
Mr. Kamoru Ajagbe, a cocoa farmer at Owena-Ijesa in Osun, was quoted as saying that his harvested cocoa beans had been fermenting for five days and due for drying.
“The weather is not favourable for drying cocoa now because sunshine is not forthcoming, but we hope that the weather will be brighter in a few days time,” Ajagbe said.
Alhaji Laolu Abidoye, a cocoa merchant and a farmer at Aba-Ako, said that the rainy season that began early this year was responsible for the early production of cocoa pods.
Abidoye warned farmers not to indulge in artificial drying of cocoa beans such as using traditional ovens or frying pots.