Price of Robusta coffee touches all-time high as Brazilian production declines

Farm gate price of raw berries touch a record ₹106 a kg against ₹80 last year

September 24, 2022 07:32 pm | Updated 07:36 pm IST - KALPETTA

The average coffee production in Brazil is 60 million bags a year, whereas in India, it is below six million bags.

The average coffee production in Brazil is 60 million bags a year, whereas in India, it is below six million bags.

Lending fresh hopes to coffee farmers, the price of the Robusta variety of coffee has reached an all-time high, thanks to a sharp decline in production.

The farm gate price of raw Robusta coffee berries touched a record ₹106 a kg in Wayanad market on Friday, as against ₹80 a kg during the corresponding period last year.

The State government had announced that it would procure coffee from farmers at a minimum support price (MSP) of ₹90 a kg when the market price of raw coffee was ₹61 a kg two years ago.

A sharp decline in coffee production in Brazil, a major coffee-producing country, owing to severe frost was the major reason for the rise in price, trading sources said.

The average coffee production in Brazil is 60 million bags (a bag of 60 kg) a year. But the production declined to 50 million bags this season. A drought-like situation in the coffee-growing regions of that country during the post-harvest period also contributed to price hike, sources said.

The average coffee production in India is below six million bags a year. A huge disparity in production and supply was the major reason for the price hike. Moreover, the depreciation of Indian rupee to US dollar was also reflected in the rise in price, sources added.

“However, the current upswing in price will not benefit coffee farmers in the country as most of them have already sold the produce at a low price,” Prasanth Rajesh, president, Wayanad Coffee Growers’ Association (WCGA), told The Hindu.

“The fortune of Indian coffee farmers depends on the misfortune of farmers in Brazil,” Mr. Rajesh said, adding that such a situation should change as it would not offer a sustainable income to farmers.

A quick intervention by the Coffee Board to increase internal consumption of coffee is the need of the hour, he said .

Though the State government had announced an MSP of ₹90 a kg, most farmers are yet to benefit from it as the government has fixed a ceiling limit of one acre for procurement, he said.

All farmers, irrespective of land holding, should get the MSP since input cost, especially that of fertilisers, had gone up by more than 200%, he added. The Coffee Board has projected a crop size of 3.42 lakh tonnes in the country during 2021-22 in its final estimates.

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