Amid the lockdown and the departure of the migrant labour force to their hometowns, pepper harvest and post-harvest processing of coffee have taken a hit in Kodagu.
Between 90% and 95% of coffee has been harvested subsequent to the lockdown curbs across the district, and the harvest of pepper, an inter-crop in coffee plantations, was to begin this month. Pepper is usually harvested between March and May, and estates in Kodagu largely depend on migrant workers for the task.
A majority of workers at these estates are primarily from north Karnataka and from neighbouring districts, including Periyapatna and Hunsur taluks in Mysuru. Local workers are also sourced for the job as the harvest area is large.