India's Bold Vision to Revitalise Traditional and Explore New Frontiers of Coffee - Brewing Success As Arabica Rebounds, Bringing Cheers to Coffee Growers

India’s Bold Vision to Revitalise Traditional and Explore New Frontiers of Coffee

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India Aims to Double Coffee Production in a Decade

India’s Coffee Board has unveiled an ambitious plan to double the country’s coffee production within the next 10 years. The strategy involves enhancing productivity in traditional coffee-growing states and expanding cultivation into non-traditional regions, covering approximately 200K hectares of land. While coffee has traditionally thrived in Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, it has been making its mark in non-traditional areas like Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and the North East in recent years.

A Two-Pronged Approach to Achieve Growth

K G Jagadeesha, the Secretary and CEO of the Coffee Board, has outlined a comprehensive approach to achieve this target by 2033. The first aspect of the plan involves implementing a National Replantation Policy for the traditional coffee-producing states. In these areas, approximately 60% of coffee plants have exceeded their economic lifespan, resulting in declining yields. Arabica plants, for example, see diminishing yields after 40 years, while Robusta experiences this after 50 years. The proposal emphasizes replanting these old and unproductive coffee plants as a means to potentially increase production by almost 50%.

Government Support and Expansion Plans

As part of this proposal, the government will shoulder the interest costs on loans obtained by coffee growers for replanting purposes in traditional areas for a five-year period. This proposal has been submitted to the Commerce Ministry and is currently awaiting government approval. Currently, coffee cultivation covers approximately 472K hectares, with a production output of 360K tonnes in the 2022-23 period. India’s coffee production has more than doubled over the past three decades, rising from around 169K tonnes in the early nineties. The Coffee Board aims to double yields over the next decade through improved productivity.

Expanding Coffee Cultivation and State Initiatives

In addition to replantation efforts in traditional regions, the Coffee Board plans to expand coffee cultivation by about two lakh hectares in non-traditional areas by providing subsidies to growers in collaboration with respective states. The central government intends to equally share the subsidy burden with these states to support the expansion into new coffee-growing regions. Several states have already committed to this expansion. Notably, Odisha has announced a mission to bring 1 lakh hectares under coffee cultivation by 2030. In addition, Andhra Pradesh aims to cultivate about 80K hectares, with the potential for another 25K hectares in Tamil Nadu and 50K – 60K hectares in the North East. These initiatives are expected to make a substantial contribution towards increasing coffee production in India. 

India, which exports approximately two-thirds of its coffee production, is set to host the World Coffee Congress (WCC 2023) in Bengaluru from September 25-28. This event is anticipated to serve as a platform for showcasing Indian coffees to global buyers, further promoting the growth of the coffee industry in the country.

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