Ponnampet Forestry College Dean calls upon growers to maintain quality from estate to cuppa; 18th AGM of Kodagu Mahila Coffee Jagruthi Sangha held
Madikeri: Coffee growers should give priority for cultivating tasty coffee naturally, said Ponnampet Forestry College Dean Dr. Cheppudira G. Kushalappa.
He was speaking at the 18th Annual General Body meeting of Kodagu Mahila Coffee Jagruthi Sangha held at a private hotel in Madikeri recently. Though Vietnam and Brazil produces large quantity of coffee, they are unable to get back the amount invested in coffee cultivation. They use highest quality of fertilisers to cultivate the crop and most of the finances are drained out here.
The growers of Kodagu must concentrate on cultivating coffee naturally by reducing the use of fertilisers. There are 360 species of trees inside the coffee estates in Kodagu. As a result, the ground gets good manure. This is the reason why Kodagu coffee is famous across the world.
“The undeniable natural beauty and abundance in Kodagu — from rainfall to fertile soil and diverse water sources — has made the region a highly sought-after location to cultivate coffee. Coffee flourishes in a unique blend of climatic conditions that includes humidity, heat and rainfall. Kodagu is ideal for these conditions and the slopes of the Western Ghats ensure orthographic rainfall that measure between 60 to 80 inches,” he said.
The abundant species of shaded trees work together in a two-tier system to protect coffee plants. These trees also prevent soil erosion and provide mulch to act as fertiliser. “The soil of Kodagu is rich with nitrogenous material and has a good sub-surface drainage,” he said and called upon growers to maintain quality from the estate to the cuppa.
Coffee Board quality expert Vikram Kuttaiah said that the prices of coffee have not increased drastically for the last 25 years. The maintenance of Arabica coffee was Rs. 25,000 per acre 25 years ago and now it has reached Rs. 80,000 per acre. The maintenance of Robusta variety has increased from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 60,000.
“The maintenance costs have increased manifold but the prices of coffee has remained stagnant. There is a huge disparity between production costs and end profits. There is a situation where the grower has to be satisfied with meagre income,” he explained.
Kodagu Mahila Coffee Jagruthi Sangha President Pandikuthira Chitra Subbaiah said that the Sangha has been creating awareness about Coorg Coffee since the last 18 years. Sangha Director Kumari Kunjappa has been provided permission by Kodagu District Administration to open an outlet at Coorg Village that is coming up near Raja’s Seat in Madikeri, she said.