Coffee growers are expecting a 30 per cent decline in the new crop to be harvested from December, raising apprehensions of a third year in a row of poor output in the country.
Torrential rains in the chief coffee growing state of Karnataka have spoiled the prospects of a good crop for the next harvest season. “Coffee production will decline in the entire Chikmagalur and south Coorg regions. Our assessment is about 30-35 per cent shortfall in the new crop,’’ said MB Ganapathy, chairman of Karnataka Planters’ Association.
Two years ago, an extended dry spell hit coffee production while last year, heavy rains in certain parts of Karnataka and Wayanad in Kerala resulted in a lower output. “This year the harsh summer was followed by a delayed monsoon. Then heavy rains pounded the state,’’ said Ganapathy.
Around 70 per cent of the total output of 319,500 tonnes estimated by the Coffee Board in 2018-19 comes from Karnataka. Growers estimate the actual crop last year at about 300,000 tonnes, with robusta variety showing more decline.
Indian coffee is currently priced higher than the global rates, which have plunged due to a glut in Brazil, the largest producer. A good crop is also predicted in Vietnam, the second largest coffee growing country. The International Coffee Organisation had estimated the 2018-19 coffee year (from October 2018 to September 2019) as a second consecutive year of surplus.