BHUBANESWAR: The Tribal Development Co-operative Corporation of Odisha Ltd (TDCCOL) has started the process of securing an exclusive geographical indication (GI) for Koraput coffee. The Koraput variety is currently included in the GI for Araku coffee of Andhra Pradesh.
The Coffee Board of India under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry secured the tag on March 1, 2019 for ‘Araku Valley Arabica’ which includes Odisha’s coffee as well. The board claimed that the coffee is grown under same elevation (3,000 to 5,300 feet above sea level), soil and climatic conditions in both Andhra Pradesh and parts of Odisha - a majority in Koraput besides, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Keonjhar, Gajapati and Kalahandi.
The move, which met with little protest from Odisha then, was aimed at attracting recognition and higher price for the tribal growers, but that hasn’t been the case with those in Koraput.“Considering the present market presence of Koraput coffee, it has become essential to have its own GI certification,” said Mansi Nimbhal, managing director of TDCCOL.
The corporation has informed the Coffee Board about a separate GI for state’s coffee. “Since the Koraput coffee is already under a geographical indication, we are working towards establishing its uniqueness as compared to that grown in the Araku valley,” Nimbhal added.
IPR activist Anita Sabat said in the current GI arrangement, the brand value of Koraput coffee loses out at a national level. “If the Coffee Board has included Odisha in the Araku Valley Coffee GI tag, they and sellers of this GI-tagged coffee must inform, share and promote Odisha’s name along with Araku valley’s name in their packaging and branding materials which is clearly not being done,” said Sabat.
In the coffee map of India, Koraput is a non-traditional coffee growing area. Currently, Arabica coffee is grown in Koraput, Nandapur, Semiliguda, Pottangi, Dasmantpur, Lamtaput and Laxmipur blocks in the district. Although the state government had initially roped in 2,768 tribals to grow coffee in the plantations that it raised through different departments, today around 600 tribal families are actively involved in growing coffee which they sell to TDCCOL (since 2019).
Odisha coffee production
565 MT in 2021-22
500 MT in 2020-21
670 MT 2019-20
projected 490 MT in 2022-23
Tribal families growing coffee - 600
Blocks under coverage - Koraput, Nandapur, Semiliguda, Pottangi, Dasmantpur, Lamtaput and Laxmipur