Growers can register with the Coffee Board and get pest-resistant seedlings
Rain has not caused much damage to the crop this yearPest attacks under control, says official
Madikeri: The Coffee Board here has put the post-blossom estimate of coffee production in Kodagu during 2006-07 at 1,10,000 tonnes, according to the Deputy Director of Coffee Board (Extension), Kodagu, S. Mushtaq, here on Tuesday.
He told The Hindu that Robusta coffee estimate for the current year had been put at 88,000 tonnes while that of Arabica was 22,000 tonnes. The estimates are a shade lower than the pre-blossom total estimate of 1,13,375 tonnes. Robusta variety of coffee is dominant in Kodagu.
The final production level in Kodagu during 2005-06 was 1,03,210 tonnes. Robusta, as usual, had accounted for bulk at 82,200 tonnes while Arabica was 21,010 tonnes, Mr. Mushtaq said.
The rainfall in Kodagu this year had not caused much damage to the crop, like the previous year. However, monsoon season is currently on and the extent of loss or damage to plants would be known only after the rain.
Area under cultivation
Kodagu, which accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the country's total coffee production, has a total of 1,00,625 hectares of coffee plantation area. Robusta's share is 73,795 hectares while that of Arabica is 26,830 hectares. But, the crop bearing areas has come down a little bit in the last few years for various reasons. Kodagu's crop bearing area (of the total 1,00,625 hectares) is put at 94,890 hectares. Robusta bearing area is 69,850 while that of Arabica is 25,040 hectares. There are 40,447 growers in the district whose holdings are below 10 hectares and 440 growers with holdings over 10 hectares.
The reason for the slight decline in the bearing area could be due to removal of certain plants owing to pest attacks resulting in re-plantation, expansion of coffee plantations, new plants which were hardly a couple of years old and probably change of varieties such as Robusta into Arabica or vice-versa. Indeed, white stem borer in Arabica and berry borer in Robusta have adversely affected yield in Kodagu in the last few years. These pest attacks were now under control, Mr. Mushtaq said.
Removal of affected plants had resulted in good demand for new, pest-resistant variety of seedlings. The Coffee Board had assisted in raising such nurseries in 69 different plots in the district, Mr. Mushtaq said. It has so far raised 22 lakh different seedling selections (only Arabica) in various parts of Kodagu.
The Coffee Board would pay Rs. 2 per seedling raised in such nurseries to the growers after they were distributed to the needy. Seedlings were raised only based on demands from growers. Seedlings were about five months old and supply had already started in Sunticoppa. Growers would have to register names with the Coffee Board here in advance for getting seedlings, Mr. Mushtaq said.