More than 200 women from tribal communities in Kil Kotagiri are to get a fair price from the Government for the coffee they grow, thanks to the launch of “Neel Café”, a brand of coffee that is to be sold at Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department Agency (TANHODA) outlets across the State.
The initiative by the Tamil Nadu State Rural Livelihoods Mission (TNSRLM) and the Department of Horticulture, was designed to provide a fair price for the coffee the women from tribal groups, who are part of self-help groups, produce in their small landholdings surrounding their villages.
Officials said the women were selling the coffee to private persons for around ₹100 per kg. “The women told us that they were not being paid enough for the produce, and asked us to purchase the coffee at a higher price, which is what we intend to do,” said Joint Director of Horticulture, Nilgiris District, Sivasubramaniam Samraj. The price will be decided soon, he said.
The tribal women have been asked to supply the coffee to the department, which has FSSAI certification. This, in turn, allows them to sell the packaged coffee at TANHODA counters across the State in the coming weeks. Already, this brand of coffee is being sold at the Government Botanical Garden and Rose Garden at ₹ 130 for around 200g. “The coffee produced by the women from these communities is completely organic, and by promoting it, we are giving them a sustainable livelihood,” said Mr. Samraj. This is the first such initiative in Tamil Nadu to benefit tribal communities, he said.