MADIKERI: The delay in cherry blossom rainfall in Kodagu has brought a fresh wave of worry among the coffee growers. While the district witnessed the cherry blossom showers in February end and March months, the same has been delayed in many parts of the district.
“We have both Arabica and Robusta coffee plantations in our estate. While it had rained during February end last year, the mango showers have been delayed this year. This will highly affect the blossoming of the coffee plants, which in turn will affect the coffee yield next year,” shared Savita S, a grower in Makkanduru village of Madikeri taluk. While a few parts of the district including Napoklu have received the cherry blossom rainfall, the majority of the district is facing the harsh dry season.
“Several estates have adopted the sprinkler irrigation method. However, following the landslide in Makkanduru in 2018, all water sources have been washed off. The irrigation tanks have also been washed off during the landslide and we cannot install the sprinkler irrigation. The coffee plants have blossomed and they will soon burn under the sun if the rains fail,” she explained.
Meanwhile, many coffee growers have not yet sold the coffee yield, hoping for an increase in the prices in the coming months. This has resulted in a financial crisis and installing sprinklers are an expensive affair for many growers. Further, the demands of the growers for free electricity supply or subsidy in electric bills for pump sets (up to 10 HP) have remained a distant dream, affecting the livelihood of many small growers in the district.