BANGALORE: Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pulled up the Coffee Board for ‘doing nothing’ to help growers and exporters.
Expressing her disappointment with the functioning of the board, she said that they should improve their performance. Apart from stiff competition to Indian coffee from Latin American regions, there are problems like white (stem) borer pest and other quality issues.
“I am thoroughly unhappy that the Board remains where they are. I would have expected as much robustness in the Board as the sector. Sorry for being so blunt,” Sitharaman said here during an interaction with stakeholders of the coffee sector.
“If growers and exporters are doing their bit, the Board cannot be sitting doing nothing,” the Minister said and directed the Board to improve its performance.
India exported 2.35 lakh tonnes of coffee till September 17, 2014. The country is estimated to harvest 3.44 lakh tonnes of coffee in FY15 crop year starting this month, as compared to 3.04 lakh tonnes last year, a growth of 13.22 per cent.
“Everything that is being said is in order that the Board becomes robust to help growers and address issues which are going to affect all of us. The coffee (sector) cannot suffer,” she said.