Coffee production may be 10-15% lower than initial estimates

Vishwanath Kulkarni | | Updated on: Sep 19, 2022

Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, 17/11/2018: Tribal women harvesting organic coffee from a plantation near Girliguda village in Araku in Visakhapatnam district on November 17, 2018. The coffee that is processed and marketed by Naandi Foundation with the help of the tribal farmers cooperative society recently won the gold medal for the best coffee pod in the Prix Epicures OR 2018 Award in Paris, France. Photo: K.R. Deepak / The Hindu | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Excess rains impact crop, clear picture after monsoon ends, says Board CEO

India’s coffee output for the crop year 2022-23 starting October is expected to be lower by 10-15 per cent against initial estimates due to the impact of excess rains, Coffee Board CEO and Secretary KG Jagadeesha said.

Speaking to BusinessLine on the sidelines of the UPASI’s 129 th Annual Conference, Jagadeesha, who recently visited some estates in Kodagu, said there has been some impact due to excess rains. Rains are still continuing and it is too premature to quantify the losses.

“While some growers have faced a crop loss of 30-40 per cent, some have not seen the impact. It is still raining. Once the monsoon ends, we will be able to confidently say what’s the impact. So far, the overall impact is likely to be around 10-15 per cent of the post-blossom estimates,” Jagadeesha said.

Record crop estimate

Coffee Board, in its initial post-blossom estimates, had pegged the 2022-23 crop at a record 3.93 lakh tonnes (lt) — about 15 per cent higher than the current year’s final estimates of 3.42 lt. The 2022-23 crop comprised 1.169 lt of Arabicas and 2.77 lt of Robustas. The record projections were on the back of favourable weather conditions during March-May this year that aided the coffee blossoms and better crop setting this year.

Much of this expected increase in next year’s output was to be driven by Karnataka, where the crop was seen higher by 18 per cent as per the initial estimates. In Karnataka, the Arabica output was pegged higher at 86,150 tonnes, an increase of about 27 per cent over the previous year’s 68,025 tonnes. Similarly, the Robusta output was seen higher at 1.99 lt (1.736 lt).

Threat from diseases

Over the past few years, the excess precipitation during monsoons has become a regular feature in the coffee-growing districts of Karnataka, which accounts for over 70 per cent of the country’s coffee production.

However, due to excess and continuous rains in the key growing regions of Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan, the coffee crop has been facing diseases such as root rot and wet feet conditions resulting in berry and leaf dropping, inflicting financial losses, growers said. While the prices have been on the higher side, growers fear that crop losses would restrict their gains as they would not be able to take the advantage of higher prices.

In the current monsoon season from June 1 till September 19, Hassan district has received 57 per cent more rains, Chikkmagaluru received 23 per cent and Kodagu has got 12 per cent above normal rains. Rains have been 101 per cent above normal in August in Hassan, while Chikkmagalur has received 102 per cent above normal during September till date.

Published on September 19, 2022
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