Sitharaman raps Coffee Board for poor performance

Sitharaman raps Coffee Board for poor performance

Sitharaman raps Coffee Board for poor performance

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today expressed disappointment over the functioning of the Coffee Board saying that the organisation lacks robustness and it should improve its performance.

The Board cannot be "doing nothing" when the Indian coffee sector is still plagued with issues related to quality of coffee, white borer pest menace, not able to expand export market and coffee culture among others, she said.

"I am thoroughly unhappy that the Boards remains where they are. I would have expected as much robustness in the Board as the sector. Sorry for being so blunt," Sitharaman said in an interactive meeting with the Board members as well the stakeholders of the coffee industry here.

If growers and exporters are doing their bit, the Board cannot be sitting doing nothing, the Minister said and directed the Board to improve its performance.

Sitharaman said that she is being blunt so that the Board becomes robust.

"Everything that is being said is in order that the Board becomes robust to help growers and address issues which are going to affect all of us. The coffee (sector) cannot suffer."
She said that issues related to exploring newer export markets, expanding coffee culture, concerns about quality of coffee and white borer pest need to be addressed.

Assuring full support to the Board in addressing the concerns of the sector, the Minister said: "It is not that I am absolving myself of my responsibility but I am here to say the Board, please sit up. We are not here to just sit for the Board, for which I will be accountable in the Cabinet and to the Prime Minister."

India has exported 2.35 lakh tonnes of coffee till September 17 of the current calendar year, slightly lower than 2.45 tonnes in the year-ago, as per the Board data.

According to the post blossom crop forecast, the country is estimated to harvest 3.44 lakh tonnes of coffee in the 2014-15 crop year starting this month, up by 13.22 per cent from the last year's 3.04 lakh tonnes.