production in the country is expected to fall by over fifty per cent during the
current year due extensive crop damage in the flash floods and heavy rains in
the North Kodagu region during the last one week.
Industry experts also say the rains may have a major impact on coffee output
this season and they expect a 50 per cent production drop in all coffee growing
districts of Kodagu, Chikkamagalur and Sakleshpur (Hassan). The three districts
in Karnataka produce an estimated 70 per cent of India's coffee.
unprecedented rains that triggered flash floods and landslides have delivered a
deadly blow to several small and marginal coffee planters in North Kodagu,
bordering Kerala. It isn't coffee alone. Spices like black pepper and cardamom
produced in the coffee estates have also been severely hit. "We reckon at
least about 5,000 acres of coffee estates in Kodagu have been destroyed,"
said Spokesperson of the Industry in Kodagu.
has completely wiped out arecanut crop this year. The fungal disease that has
infected the trees due to very heavy rains has resulted in all the young fruit
fall off completely.
Because of the rains, coffee berries have fallen off and there is an outbreak
of fungal diseases."
The blow comes at a time when the industry was already battling falling prices,
labor shortage and high wages. Big players like Tata Coffee are staring at a
major cut in crop output. They are also battling infrastructure damage, like
roads, bridges, labor quarters and other properties insides estates. "We
are working out various mechanisms to check coffee berry fall and to battle
diseases to ensure a decent output. But small growers are going to be really
badly hit," said a Tata Coffee manager.
for a coffee plantation of his own, a retired Army officer had invested his
life's savings in developing a four-acre barren plot near Madikeri. After eight
years of toil, he was getting ready to reap dividends. But just before midnight
on August 17, a huge landslip reduced his estate into a pile of mud.
"I can't even recognize the boundary of my plantation now," the
farmer told a local newspaper . "I don't know what the future holds for me
now." This is the fate of hundreds
of small coffee growers in the North Kodagu region which witnessed heavy rains
and flash floods.