Fall in prices of Robusta coffee puts farmers in a spot

Published - May 09, 2024 02:05 am IST - KALPETTA

The Robusta coffee market in Wayanad district, a major Robusta coffee growing region in the country, witnessed a sudden dip after a prolonged period of high prices, leaving coffee growers in distress.

The farm gate price of Robusta coffee, which had soared to ₹12,000 a bag (54 kg a bag) recently, has now reduced to ₹9,000 a bag, shocking farmers anticipating further increase.

The abrupt dip in the prices has sent ripples of concern among the growers, who had hoped for sustained profitability in the coming days. Trading sources said the sharp fall in the price exacerbated worries of farmers, who had banked on higher returns.

A recent report on increase in the coffee stock of stock exchange was the major reason for sudden fall in the price of the produce, trading sources added.

“Another report on increase in the coffee export from Vietnam also caused the fall. The bearish news tempted speculators to sell the produce in their custody at once, which aggravated the fall making it steeper,” the sources said.

“The sudden price downturn has caught us off guard. We were expecting the prices to remain stable or even rise further, but this sharp decrease has left us uncertain about the future,” Shyam Prasad, a farmer at Vaduvanchal said.

The situation has created a divide among the growers. Those who had already sold their coffee feel relieved, while others, who had held onto their produce in anticipation of better prices, now find themselves in a state of confusion.

Apart from the fall in price, the major concern of farmers in the district was a sharp decrease in produce expected in the coming year owing to climatic vagaries.

Many of the coffee growing areas were yet to get summer rain and the drought-like situation would adversely affect the production, Prasanth Rajesh, director of the Wayanad Small Coffee Growers Association said. “We expect a decline of 20% to 30% in Robusta production this year,” Mr. Rajesh added.  

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