The Karnataka Planters Association, the apex growers body of plantation crops, estimates losses at 35 per cent due to excess rains in July-August, has urged Central and State Governments to provide relief to affected growers. It also wants bankers to take note of the damages and restructure the loans providing relief to the growers.
The plantation crop growing districts of Chikmagalur, Kodagu, Hassan, and Chamarajanagar have been battered by heavy rains since 1st July 2022.
Extent of damages
Due to heavy rains, normal life in plantations is affected. Steams are overflowing and water has stagnated in the low lying areas marooning the coffee plants. The trees in the plantations have also fallen due to heavy rains and strong winds damaging the coffee plants, KPA chairman, N Ramanathan said in a statement. In the space of a few days, there was very heavy rain. The rains in July and August were 26 per cent above average normal rainfall.
“The heavy rains have extensively damaged standing coffee crop, coffee plants, and estate infrastructure. The coffee berries have turned black and have dropped, due to which, the crop is lost and the quality of remaining coffee crops on the plants have deteriorated. The coffee plants are affected by stalk rot and root rot diseases. The growers assess the damage to the coffee crop, coffee plants, and estate infrastructure in general will be more than 35 per cent,” the KPA chairman said.
Requests put forward
“The Coffee Board, and the State Revenue and Horticulture Department, should inspect the affected areas and assess the damage. We request the State Government to declare Chikmagalur, Kodagu, Hassan and Chamarajnagar districts as flood affected areas,” Ramanathan said.
The plantation districts of Karnataka, which produce about 70 per cent of India’s coffee crop, have been witnessing above normal monsoon rains in the recent years.
“We also request the Central and State Governments to provide relief to the affected plantation growers. Banks should take note of the damage and restructure the loan accounts and provide relief to the affected coffee growers,” the KPA Chairman said.