Special Correspondent

Bangalore: The first India International Coffee Festival, which will be organised by the Coffee Board biannually as a major marketing initiative, will be held here from February 23 to February 25 next year, Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said here on Friday.

He told presspersons here that a major challenge before the domestic coffee industry was to increase domestic consumption. "About 80 per cent of our coffee is exported while 80 per cent of the remaining is consumed in Tamil Nadu. If we don't increase domestic consumption, the future of the coffee industry is not bright," he said.

According to the Minister, domestic consumption of coffee should be doubled from 80,000 tonnes to 1.6 lakh tonnes in 10 years.