India’s coffee production to drop by 8.05% due to unfavourable weather conditions

The Coffee Board of India in Jan 2016 announced there would be an increase in coffee production by 25,000 tonnes this FY taking total production to 3,80,600 tonnes.

“This is a good year for coffee production, which is expected to be 3,80,600 tonnes. Of this, Robusta will be 1 lakh tonnes and rest will be under Arabica,” Coffee Board of India Chairman Leena Nair, who was here for the 5-day India International Coffee Festival, told PTI. India is the sixth leading coffee producing country in the world.

In May 2016 came news that India’s coffee production will be the lowest in about two decades due to dismal rainfall and hot temperatures impacted plantations in the decisive flowering stage.

“Dry weather is hitting plantations in the crucial flowering stage. On a conservative basis, we are estimating a 25% drop in production,” Baba P. S. Bedi, chairman of the Karnataka Planters Association (KPA) told Reuters.

Now reports suggest that coffee production in India will fall by 8.05% during 2016-17 due to the high temperature during summer. It was a record 3.48 lakh tonnes in 2015-16. As per the Coffee Board’s latest update, India will produce one lakh tonnes of Arabica and 2.20 lakh tonnes of Robusta. Coffee production will hence fall short by 28,000 tonnnes compared to last year.

Karnataka (22,175 tonnes) followed by Kerala (6,730 tonnes) will be the worst hit. Late blossom and delayed rainfall together with an increase in temperature in coffee growing areas are to blame.

Estates with irrigation facilities in Karnataka’s coffee areas have managed to irrigate their Robusta plantations for one round of blossom during February-March and one round of backing irrigation. Even irrigated estates however will see a fall in coffee production as poor rainfall pushed up temperatures as per Coffee Board.

Coffee areas in Karnataka received rains only in April. The showers though were dismal and isolated, leading to no blossom in Arabica estates but dispersed, uneven blossom in un-irrigated Robusta fields, which account for 40% of Robusta area in Karnataka. Buds in Robusta were left pinked and scorched. Lack of water resources meant growers were unable to ensure supplementary irrigations.

Post blossom estimate for Arabica for 2016-17 is 3,500 tonnes and 24,500 for Robusta. A decrease of -3.38% and -10.02% as compared to last year.

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