Nirmala Sitharaman,Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry- recently urged State’s Coffee Board to take up aggressive branding and promotion of Indian coffees in an event organised by a Coffee Board towards soil fertility appraisal and soil health monitoring in coffee growing regions.
She said “It’s the age of branding. You need to brand everything. You need to have high profile marketing for everything to reach even the lower end of the pyramid, so Branding ensures the market is sustained”
Citing the recent example of Araku Valley coffee making its presence felt in Paris with the support of industry – “If Araku on its own can go to Paris, Coffee Board should have pushed itself and said — I will market Coorg coffee. We should brand it”
Growers from Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, are recent entrants into coffee production compared to plantations in traditional coffee belts of Kerala and Karnataka.
She also said Countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and even Myanmar have made long strides in packaging, value addition, presenting and marketing of coffee.
The Commerce Minister also indicated that the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana will be expanded to even small coffee growers, who have been facing the brunt of erratic rainfall pattern in recent years.
About 98 per cent of India’s coffee holdings are less than 10 hectares and held by small growers.
The Central Coffee Research Institute (CCRI), in collaboration with the National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Policy, has started creating a database on the soil health in major growing regions and rendering site specific nutrient recommendations through soil health cards.
“The card is designed to present information on soil health indicators like pH, electrical conductivity, organic carbon and micro nutrient content, among others. It will enable judicious use of fertilisers and correct nutrient deficiencies,” said Y Raghuramulu, Director, CCRI.