Changes in rainfall pattern affects Arabica coffee variety in Karnataka's Kodagu

While the price of Arabica variety has increased in the international market, many planters of Kodagu are reluctant to maintain this variety of the crop.

Published: 29th August 2021 07:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th August 2021 07:00 PM   |  A+A-

Arabica coffee plant

Arabica coffee plant (Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

MADIKERI: The changing rainfall and weather pattern in Kodagu is affecting the coffee plantations – especially the Arabica variety of coffee.

While the price of Arabica variety has increased in the international market, many planters of Kodagu are reluctant to maintain this variety of the crop due to the challenges faced following the changing weather patterns.

"Coffee growers in the district have faced immense losses since the past three years. And the Arabica variety of coffee has become unmanageable and a small coffee grower cannot sustain this crop anymore," shared K Subbaiah, a coffee grower in Chettalli.

He had grown Arabica varieties of plants across eight acres of land and he explained, "I had taken up inter-cropping of Arabica and Robusta varieties across 11 acre. However, I have removed all the Arabica crops in the nearly eight acre estate as I am unable to sustain these crops."

He shared that the untimely rains has resulted in the Arabica crops yielding beans way before the picking period. "The coffee beans have ripened during this August. How can one pick these beans in the rain and where can one dry these beans?" he questioned.

The Arabica variety normally bore ripened beans in the month of September and they were to be picked during November. However, the changing rain pattern has immensely affected the crop and like Subbaiah, many small coffee growers are removing the Arabica crop variety following immense losses, despite the hike in the price in the international market.  

Former vice president of Coffee Board, Dr Kaverappa shared that the Arabica variety is increasingly prone to black rot disease, resulting in its downfall. "Arabica variety is increasingly found in the North Kodagu belt. However, the untimely rains and floods have affected the crops. While there is an immense shortage of Arabic beans and demand for the same has increased in the international market, the production of Arabica variety is less in the district due to the challenges faced by the growers in marinating these varieties," he explained.

He hoped for the government’s support to the coffee sector and said that insurance to coffee crops and reintroduction of subsidies to the machineries must be enabled to promote and support the sector.



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