The coffee industry in Kodagu has been severely affected as more than 4,000 acres of coffee crops have been lost due to the natural calamity in the district.
There are more than 50 coffee curing units in Kudlur industrial estate near Kushalnagar in Somwarpet taluk. Industries here are based on major commercial crops of coffee and pepper.
The district produces 3.5 lakh tonnes of Robusta and Arebica coffee annually. According to coffee board officials, about one tonne of crops is lost due to floods. Therefore, the industries dependent on the crop, also face the threat of a colossal loss.
The management of curing units is expected to be cumbersome and several units may have to close down. The labourers depending on the curing work will have to face huge hardships.
Generally, the coffee purchased from the growers of the district is processed before releasing to the market. The value-added coffee products such as instant coffee is in huge demand in not only India but also in foreign countries. But, the quantity of processed coffee food is expected to fall drastically due to the huge crop loss.
Kudluru industrialists association president N Pravin said that the re-establishing road connectivity may take more time. The transportation of the goods may not be possible in the near future as Madikeri-Mangaluru National Highway is damaged to a large extent. The route was the most convenient to transport products from the district to Mangaluru Port. The export of coffee products has now come to a standstill. The processed coffee is lying in the warehouse.
The 'Amritha coffee curing works' unit at the industrial area situated on the banks of River Cauvery, was damaged due to floods. As the stormwater gushed into the unit, coffee beans were spoiled resulting in a loss to the tune of Rs 6 crore, coffee curing unit manager Kannan said.