press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
Coffee planters have pegged coffee production in the country in 2014–15 at 3 lakh tonnes (post-blossom estimates) against the Coffee Board’s projections of 3,44,750 tonnes.
The reason for stagnation in production is attributed to rampant attack of white stem borer (WSB) pest across Arabica growing regions in Karnataka, which accounts for 70 per cent of the country’s output. To avoid spread of the pest, many planters are uprooting the infected plants.
WSB pest attack
Incidence of WSB pest attack is severe in Arabica plantations in Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan districts, according to Karnataka Planters Association (KPA) outgoing chairman D. Govindappa Jayaram.
The board has estimated domestic Robusta production at 1,05,500 tonnes and Arabica at 2,39,250 tonnes.
While the KPA said the board’s estimate would be reached as far as Robusta production was concerned but not with regard to Arabica. Arabica production would reach only 60,000 tonnes this year. Hudhud cyclone had caused severe damage to Arabica plantations in Andhra Pradesh too, the KAP said.
The board’s estimation for Karnataka is 2,48,300 tonnes — 80,700 tonnes of Arabica and 1,67,600 tonnes of Robusta. Coffee planters deliberated on various issues confronting the industry during the 56th AGM of the KPA here.
Home Minister K.J. George, who was a guest, said a meeting between growers and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would be convened for addressing grievances of the industry.
BJP MP from Udupi-Chikmagalur Shobha Karandlaje, who wanted active functioning of the board so as to address the problems the industry is facing, said no pesticides had been found effective to tackle WSB in the country.
“Now, the infected plants are being removed or burnt to prevent the spread of the pest,” she said.
The severe incidence WSB is due to continuous dry weather from October 2013 to April 2014 and high temperature during the summer months, planters said.
The board has set a target of achieving 4 lakh tonnes of coffee bean production in the country through area expansion and productivity enhancement in the next five to 10 years, a growth of more than 30 per cent over the current production level. In 2013–14, production stood at 3,04,500 tonnes.
From : The Hindu