Agri Business

Karnataka planters peg coffee output flat at 3 lakh tonnes

Vishwanath Kulkarni | | Updated on: Nov 12, 2014
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Coffee production for the current season that began in October is likely to remain at last year’s level of around three lakh tonnes, on lower production of Arabicas, a growers’ body said.

“The Robusta crop is slightly bigger than last year, but a lower Arabica crop would keep the total size at last year’s levels,” said D Govindappa Jayaram, Chairman of the Karnataka Planters Association, ahead of the annual meet of the growers body.

“We expect the Arabica crop size to shrink to between 60,000 and 70,000 tonnes, while Robusta would be largely in line with the Coffee Board’s post-blossom estimate of 2.39 lakh tonnes,” he said.

Jayaram attributed the decline in Arabicas to high incidence of white stem borer and berry droppings caused by excess rainfall, mainly in key growing areas of Kodagu, Hassan and Chikmagalur. The 2014-15 is an off-year of the biennial production cycle for Arabicas, wherein output drops every alternate year. Further, the output of this mild and premium variety is also expected to suffer on account of diseases such as leaf rot and stalk rot that were caused by excess continuous precipitation, Jayaram said.

In its post-blossom estimates, the State-run Coffee Board had pegged the 2014-15 crop higher at 3.44 lakh tonnes comprising 1.05 lakh tonnes of Arabicas and 2.39 lakh tonnes of Robustas. The Board is yet to come out with its post-monsoon forecast for the 2014-15 season.

According to the Board’s final estimates for 2013-14, coffee output was 3.045 lakh tonnes, comprising 1.02 lakh tonnes of Arabicas and 2.023 lakh tonnes of Robustas.

Karnataka accounts for about two-thirds of the coffee produced in the country and the KPA is the apex growers’ body in the State. The fly-picking or the plucking of early ripened berries of the arabica variety has already commenced in parts of Kodagu and the full scale harvest is set to commence early December.

Further, Govindappa said the domestic coffee plantations have to increase productivity to be sustainable and remain viable as other large producers such as Brazil and Vietnam were way ahead of India on this count.

The KPA chief also suggested that the Government encourage adoption of ‘green technologies’ by planters by incentivising the usage of solar generators, wind and bio-gas generators at the plantations. He also opined that a subsidy for creation of estate brands will increase the visibility of Indian coffee, both in the domestic and overseas markets.

Published on March 12, 2018

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