'Increase output with use of new technology'

'Increase output with use of new technology'

India International Coffee fest begins

'Increase output with use of new technology'

As an expression of solidarity with the victims of the rain and floods in the State, the festivities planned for the three-day festival were toned down considerably, and a contribution of Rs ten lakh for the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund was also announced.

Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka, S V Ranganath called upon the coffee industry to work out steps to increase the yield per acre. “Certain varieties abroad produce two tonnes per acre, while the output in India comes to only 400 to 500 kilos per acre,” he said.

The reduction in production of the Arabica variety is a cause for concern and measures to increase production of this type of coffee seed needs to be adopted. “Improve processing, curing, marketing - whatever needs to be done to upgrade quality,” the Chief Secretary added.

V G Siddhardha, Chairman of Cafe Coffee Day, called upon the government to provide support to small and mid-size coffee growers to introduce technology in manufacturing and procure sophisticated equipment to increase yield. “In the next 10 to 15 years, the consumption of coffee will double world over, and the biggest worry is that production has to go up by that time.” He cautioned that countries in Central and South Amercia would sell coffee in place of India if India is unable to increase its productivity within eight years.

Dr Nestor Osorio, Executive Director, International Coffee Organisation, said that consumption of coffee worldwide has seen a major increase despite the turbulent market conditions. “From 102 million coffee bags in 2000, the figure has increased to 130 million bags in 2009,” he informed. There are virtually no stocks available with the producer or importer and unless productivity is increased rapidly, a huge gap would remain between productivity and demand, he cautioned. “Replant and replace crop on existing plantations instead of using new land,” Osorio suggested.

M H Ashraff, MD, Tata Coffee Limited, called for procuring high-productivity clones from top coffee-growing nations and introducing them into the Indian market.

Nearly 500 delegates from 17 countries -  coffee growers, roasters, brewers, exporters and equipment manufacturers - took part.  An exhibition in which coffee companies showcased their products and technology was also inaugurated.