India’s coffee output for the 2018-19 crop year starting October is set to shrink as unusual heavy rains over the past several weeks in the key growing regions of Kodagu and Chikamagalur have induced berry dropping and fungal diseases such as black-rot.
“This is a kind of calamity rainfall and it is going to impact the production for next season. It is difficult to quantify the crop loss at this point of time,” said Y Raghuramulu, Director-Research at the State-run Coffee Board.
There have been reports of the outbreak of fungal disease — black rot, which results in rotting of leaves and berries. Also, there have been reports of excess berry droppings due to heavy rains, he said.
A clearer picture will emerge after the assessment of crop loss is taken up once the rains stop.
HT Pramod, Chairman, Karnataka Planters Association, the apex body of coffee growers, said that rains have been excess across plantation areas in all the three major districts of Chikmagalur, Hassan and Kodagu.
“Since its still raining, it is difficult to assess the crop losses. Even the shortage of labour is hurting the growers. The migrant labourers from North Karnataka have gone back as their areas have received good rains this year,” Pramod added.
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