Bitter concoction of rain, advance ripeness worries coffee growers

The untimely rain and advanced ripening of coffee berries by a month has become a cause of concern for coffee growers.

On the one hand, the growers are worried over the shortage of labourers and borer disease affecting the coffee plantation and on the other hand, the advanced ripening of berries has become a headache for the growers.

Owing to the pre-monsoon showers in the month of March, the coffee berries have ripened early in Malnad region. The berries are ready for harvest. “We cannot harvest now nor we can leave the berries in the plant. The Malnad region has been receiving rainfall continuously for the past few days. The cloudy weather and the rainfall is not conducive for harvesting the crop,” said a grower.

“Monkeys are also damaging the berries. The monkey menace has increased in Malnad in the last few years. The bursting of crackers has no effect on them,” said grower Manjunath.
“The work on replacing old plants, removing weeds and spraying of insecticides have not been completed in a majority of the plantations in the Malnad region. The growers are confused as to whether harvest the crop or to carry out other works in the plantation,” said another grower.

“The early ripening of the coffee berries has become a problem. If there was no rain, then the growers would not have been worried. However, with the region receiving rainfall, we cannot pick the berries. The rain will also increase the borer disease and leaf rust disease affecting the plants. This will also have an impact on next year’s coffee output,” said Manu Kumar from Kaimara.

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