Kerala Coffee Growers are worried due to low Coffee prices in this harvest season compared to last season and also increase in cost of cultivation.
The spot price of raw Robusta coffee in Wayanad market on Friday was ₹3,186 a bag (54 kg) as against ₹4,158 during the corresponding period last year. The price of coffee beans declined to ₹110 a kg from ₹140 during the same period last year.
“Recent reports on better coffee production in Vietnam, a major coffee producing country, this season and a bumper coffee production expected in Brazil next year owing to good rain in coffee cultivating areas in that country are the major reasons for the price fall,” says one of the coffee exporter and secretary of the Kerala Coffee Processors and Dealers Association.
As per the Post Blossom Coffee Crop forecast of the Coffee Board for the 2017-18 fiscal, the Robusta coffee production in the Kerala State is placed at 66,345 tonnes, including 58,160 tonnes from Wayanad, 6,500 tonnes from the south Kerala region, and 1,775 tonnes from Nelliyampathy area. This is an increase of 5,255 tonnes (8.31%) over the previous year’s final estimate of 63,265 tonnes.
But the farming sources said the production would decline by nearly 10%.
“After the sharp fall in the prices of tea, pepper, and rubber in the market, coffee has been the mainstay of farmers, especially small-scale coffee farmers in Wayanad,” says Prashanth Rajesh, president, Wayanad Coffee Growers’ Association.
Coffee production has dipped more than 10% this season as many farmers could not irrigate their coffee plantations during the past summer owing to restrictions imposed by the government. This adversely affected berry formation says Wayanad Coffee Grower President.
The huge increase in input cost, including the 5% hike in price of chemical fertilizers after the implementation of GST and a general increase in labour charges, and crop raid by wild animals put the coffee farmers in distress, he added.
Source : The Hindu