More than a third of ready-to-harvest coffee crop in Karnataka has been destroyed in the untimely rain that lashed the coffee-growing region. More rain forecast in the next few days has left the growers worried.
According to the Coffee Board, the initial estimation of crop loss put the numbers at more than 33%. The final figures will emerge after the survey by the committees. The committees constituted by the district administrations have been conducting crop loss surveys in each plantation in the coffee-growing districts of Karnataka.
Coffee Board CEO K G Jagadeesha told DH, “The loss is huge. I have visited 10-15 villages in the three coffee-growing districts and more than one-third of the crop has been damaged. It is visible…”
“The teams constituted by the district administrations comprising members from Coffee Board, Revenue, Agriculture and Horticulture departments are conducting survey, and the final figure on loss will be available in the next 10 days,” Jagadeesha said.
This is the second consecutive year the coffee growers are facing the loss due to incessant rains. “Last year, the damage was caused while drying the coffee, this year the rains did not allow us to pluck the ripened coffee beans,” said Moganna Gowda, a grower from Chikkamagaluru district.
According to the Coffee Board officials, experts and farmers, Arabica coffee has suffered the maximum damage as it was the harvest season. “Robusta coffee is not ripe yet and it will be ready in December. But, now we are worried about the storm which is expected to hit in the next few days,” says Somashekara, another farmer from Hassan district.
Arabica is the premium coffee and most of the plantations in Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu grow it.
The total coffee growing area in Karnataka is 2.4 lakh hectares, which constitutes about 50% of the cultivation area in the country. Karnataka contributes 70% of India’s coffee production. Arabica alone accounts for about 70% of the total coffee produced in the state.
Farmers and growers associations have petitioned the government seeking adequate compensation for crop loss. The government is expected to take a decision after the submission of a survey report by the Coffee Board.
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