Coffee production on the decline in Mudigere

Heavy rain played havoc with this year's yield, say growers

 Coffee production in the district is likely to fall short of the expected estimate owing to heavy rain.

 The farmers in Malnad who were fearing drought with delay in the onset of monsoon are now worried over the crops. 

The rain has taken a toll on the crops cultivated by the farmers in Malnad. Coffee, cardamom, black pepper and even paddy has slowly been damaged, thanks to the copious rainfall.  

While 50 per cent of the coffee beans have already been damaged due to Kole roga in the taluk, the remaining crop too is now damaged due to rain. Coffee beans have been dis coloured and have turned brown. Despite farmers trying their best to prevent the disease by spraying urea it seems to be of less use.

The taluk has received normal rainfall so far this year. If Mudigere town received 69.48 mm rain, Kottigehara received 136.4 mm, Gonibeedu - 62.4 mm, Javali - 86.12 mm, Kalasa - 104.6 mm in the last 24 hours. But the rainfall was more or less unequally distributed. While there was no rain in April and May unlike previous years, there was more than normal rain in July. 

In places like Bhairapura, Hoskere, Erike, Mekanagadde, Devaramane, Guthi, Devarunda, Kottigehara, Baluru, Javali and Kalasa, along with crops, even leaves have started withering. 

“We fear that we might be able to reap only 10 per cent of the crop. If robusta coffee has begun to rot due to extreme cold, Kole roga has attacked cardamom. We are worried about our crops,” said Atthigere based coffee grower Santhosh.

Another grower Vasu said that while their crop was completely damaged last year due to excess rain, this year it has been damaged due to inordinate rain. “None of the farmer in our village received  compensation exceeding Rs 900 for crop loss last year. While, farmers in drought prone region received a compensation of more than Rs 6,000,” he regretted.

Karnataka Coffee Growers’ Federation President B S Jayaram demanded the government to come to the rescue of farmers at the earliest.

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