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GCC takes up drive to promote Araku coffee

Ch. R. S Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 09, 2016

The organic coffee grown by Girijan farmers in the picturesque Araku valley of Visakhapatnam district is making a mark not only in the country but internationally as well, and all efforts will be made to promote it in an aggressive manner, according to Social Welfare and Tribal Welfare Minister R. Kishore Babu.

He was speaking here on Wednesday morning after releasing two new products of the Girijan Co-operative Corporation (GCC), a state government undertaking. The products are Vaisakhi Coffee and Kumkum (saffron) powder. "Coffee cultivation is bringing light into the lives of Girijans in the Eastern Ghats of Visakhapatnam district. The state government has taken up a project to bring one lakh acres under coffee cultivation in the district and Rs 526 crore would be spent on it," he said.

He lauded the GCC for procuring coffee directly from the Girijan farmers and marketing it on its own, eliminating middlemen. He said Araku coffee would be promoted under the brand name Vaisakhi and there was good demand for kumkum powder. "The GCC has already received orders worth Rs 10 lakh from the famous Srisailam Siva temple in Kurnool district, and we expect big orders from other temples in the state and outside as well," he said.

Kishore Babu said the state government was giving the GCC functional autonomy and "in the past few years the turnover of the GCC has risen almost three-fold from Rs 90 crore in 2013. For the current year we have set a target of Rs 365 crore and Rs 155 crore has already been achieved. In the next five years, the turnover of GCC should cross Rs 1,000 crore."

GCC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director A.S.P.S Ravi Prakash said the corporation would strive to increase the income levels of Girijans and "GCC has waived farm debts of Girijan farmers to the extent of Rs 1.8 crores."

Araku MLA G. Sarveswara Rao said organic products such as turmeric and coffee procured from the Eastern Ghats inhabited by the Girijans, should be promoted in the domestic and international markets.

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Published on November 09, 2016
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