Arabica coffee too 'hot' now

The price of Arabica coffee has hit an all-time high bringing cheers to the planters. A significant drop in production has pushed the price of the beans to Rs 9,500 for 50 kg.
A 50-kg packet of Arabica parchment was traded at Rs 8,500 in 1994. The current market price of Arabica cherry hovers around Rs 4,800.

The Coffee Board has estimated the production at 3.03 lakh metric tonnes (MT) for the present year. However, the actual production had plummeted below 2.80 lakh. The estimated production of 20,000 MT in Kodagu has also reduced to about 16,000 MT, according to P K Devaiah, a coffee planter. Brazil and Columbia, the major producers too, have witnessed a slump of about 30 per cent.

Dwindling numbers

Irregular and prolonged rains, increased humidity and berry borer menace have cast an adverse effect on the yield.

Poor maintenance of plantations due to labour problem also has added to the woes. Confronted with a plethora of problems, Arabica growers are now increasingly switching to the Robusta variety.

As much as 82 per cent of the plantations in Kodagu grew Arabica in 1960 and the number has come down to a mere 20 per cent now.

Robusta variety too has been fetching a good price. Arabica is not available in USA, Germany, Italy and other countries where the demand for coffee is high.  
The Robusta grown in India and Uganda is of high quality.

A 50-kg packet costs

Rs 2,600 and Robusta parchment is trading at Rs 4,200 per packet.
The price of onion and other vegetables have seen an unprecedented hike these days.

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