'Coffee industry not affected by economic meltdown'

'Coffee industry not affected by economic meltdown'

"It is satisfactory to note that the Coffee industry has not been affected by the recession and has witnessed a growth in demand for quality coffee", he said, speaking at the three-day International Coffee Festival that began here.

Consumption of coffee has touched 130 million bags from 104 million bags in 2000, he said.

The surging demand has posed many challenges, including for the need to improve coffee plantation, increase production and maintaining quality, he said.

"Unless India increases coffee prdouction, countries like Italy and Brazil may start exporting to our country to meet domestic demand", Cafe Coffee Day Chairman V G Siddhartha said in his address and urged the Centre, Karnataka Government and the Coffee Board to help growers go for mechanisation to boost production.

Coffee Board Chairman G V Krishna Rau said coffee production in the next harvesting season was expected to touch 300,000 tonnes against 262,000 tonnes prdouced in 2008-09.