Labour shortage continues to haunt coffee estate owners in Kodagu district

Labour shortage continues to haunt coffee estate owners in Kodagu district

Coffee estates continue to be affected by labour shortage that has delayed harvest and arrivals in Kodagu district. 

The harvesting of Robusta coffee has been prolonged due to non-availability of labourers.“Labour is mainly required during December-April. But over the past few  years, we have been witnessing labour shortage and compared to last year, things are bad this year,” said a grower. In fact, coffee estate owners were seen wandering in the city in search of labourers. 

The coffee beans have ripened. There is not enough labour to pick and dry coffee in the estates. Growers are finding it difficult to find labour for the pluck and dry coffee beans. The non availability of labourers is a cause of concern among farmers. 

“The service of labourers from Assam is utilised in big estates. However, it is the middle class who suffer. The cloudy weather has also created fear in the minds of the growers on rain,” said another grower. 

The coffee growers said that harvest could be resumed after the the labourers from plain regions come to the district during Makara Sankranthi. 

However, they demand hefty wages. 

“Left with no other option, the growers are forced to outsource the harvest work through contract system, which incur huge loss to the coffee growers,” said coffee grower Nanaih from Kakkabbe village.

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