Chikkamagaluru: Karnataka Growers’ Federation (KGF) president B S Jairam and general secretary U M Tirthamallesh, have said that the figures jointly announced by the Union ministry of commerce and the Coffee Board regarding the coffee produce for the current year did not reflect the real position.
The produce for the current year has been given as 3,31,000 metric tonnes which was total fictional. The officials of the Board appeared to have compiled the figures while sitting in their offices rather than visiting the coffee estates, which was regrettable, they have said.
There has already been a slump in the yield to the tune of 50% in Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu and Hassan districts. The KGF has over 50,000 members on its rolls and it obtains authentic figures from the growers direct after paying visits to the estates.
The growers’ body has also surveyed and learnt the bitter truth that there was a slump of 40% in the yield of Arabica alone. There were cases where the yield from the entire estate was just two bags, KGF said.
Plucking of Robusta berries was steadily in progress in Chikkamagaluru, Balehonnur and around, as also southern Kodagu, where a slump up to 20% has been observed. The KGF has accused that the Coffee Board’s figures were not transparent. The figures given by the Board regarding domestic consumption were just imaginary and not realistic.
About 30% of the plants have been hit by the borer disease. As a result, a severe reduction in the produce. It could take five years to make up this loss, it has said. On account of incessant rains between July and September 2014, atmospheric moisture shot up resulting in large part of the yield getting grounded before ripening.
According to a survey made by the KGF after visiting various estates, Arabica produce is estimated at 70,000 metric tonnes and Robusta at 2,50,000 metric tonnes.
The KGF has urged the Board to stop providing figures arrived at by guesswork, without even visiting the estate. It has expressed grave concern that such wrong information could lead the banks to harass the growers for early settlement of loans and other finance, which could have disastrous results, it has said.