This Sum­mer’s Too Hot for Cof­fee

In­dus­try es­ti­mates that this may re­sult in a 10% fall in coun­try’s cof­fee pro­duc­tion

The Economic Times - - Commodities Plus - Kr­ish­naku­mar.PK @times­group.com

Kochi: Sear­ing heat in the ab­sence of sum­mer rains has de­stroyed large tracts of cof­fee plan­ta­tion in Kar­nataka, In­dia’s cof­fee heart­land, which ac­counts for more than 70% of the na­tional pro­duc­tion of the bev­er­age.

The in­dus­try es­ti­mates that this may re­sult in a 10% fall in the coun­try’s cof­fee pro­duc­tion in the ongoing sea­son. “It is too ear- ly to quan­tify the ex­act ex­tent of dam­age. Cer­tain re­gions like Coorg have not re­ceived any rains and with tem­per­a­tures at un­prece­dented level of 36 to 38 de­gree Celsius, the mois­ture in the soil is get­ting evap­o­rated,” said Baba Es­ti­mated fall in cof­fee pro­duc­tion in Ker­ala, the sec­ond largest pro­ducer Rise in cof­fee ex­ports in 2016 till April 26 tonnes Ex­ports till April 26, 2016

YOGEESH BS Bedi, chair­man of Kar­nataka Planters’ As­so­ci­a­tion.

Cof­fee Board has pegged post­mon­soon cof­fee out­put for 2015-16 in the coun­try at 3.5 lakh tonnes, nearly 70% of which is ro­busta va­ri­ety. The de­struc­tion of the cof­fee plants will be re­flected in the next fore­cast due by the end of May. The grow­ers are con­cerned that the dry spell has hit the ro­busta plan­ta­tions the most. “Ro­busta is not as deep-rooted as ara­bica and hence can­not with­stand heat as much as the lat­ter. The next cou­ple of weeks are cru­cial and if the dry weather con­tin­ues, then the ef­fect could be quite dam­ag­ing,” said grower and for­mer Cof­fee Board mem­ber Anil Bhan­dari.

Last year, hot weather led to increased at­tack of the pest white stem borer in ara­bica. Ac­cord­ing to Bedi, the cur­rent weather may prove con­ducive to pest at­tack. Grow­ers’ es­ti­mate of ara­bica is much less than the 1.07 lakh tonnes pre­dicted by Cof­fee Board. Ker­ala too may re­port a thinner crop.

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