March rains have been well distributed
Coffee-growing regions of Kodagu, Chikmagalur and Hassan in Karnataka have received good blossom showers.
“Blossom shower in the coffee belt in Karnataka is very good this year. Very good for Arabica as compared to poor to patchy rains last year,” Bose Mandana, a senior coffee planter from Suntikoppa in Kodagu told Business Line.
“Rain in February, especially during mid-harvest, was worrisome, but March shower has been heavy and this has made us comfortable for the next three to four weeks,” he added.
In Kodagu rains have been good in Napoklu zone comprising Murnad, Madikeri and Napoklu whereas Gonikoppal zone, which comprises Virajpet, Gonikoppal, Kutta and Balale, needs additional showers.
For robusta, south Kodagu got early showers in February and now has received moderate March showers.
In Chikmagalur and Hassan districts, March rains have been well distributed. “Due to timely showers and moisture status being good, many planters have begun applying manure in their estates. This year, they have been able to save on irrigation,” said Mandana.
According to Nishant Gurjer, Chairman, Karnataka Planters’ Association and a grower from Chikmagalur said “Early rains in February and subsequent rains in March have been good for overall crop production.”
“Rains in the last two months have been good for robusta. Stressed period for Arabica was cut short and there was initial apprehension among the growers over early rains. But March rains, however, have been beneficial,” he added.
Last crop year (2012-13), the Coffee Board had estimated the post-blossom estimate at 3,25,300 tonnes (arabica 1.04 tonnes and robusta at 2.21 tonnes).
As for the final crop forecast, the Board has estimated 3,15,500 tonnes, of which Arabica is 1,00,225 tonnes and robusta at 2,15,275 tonnes.