Pre-monsoon rains ease concerns among coffee growers

In some parts of Karnataka, unseasonably warm weather in January and February can result in an early harvest. Following an erratic start, main coffee-growing regions in Karnataka and Kerala have begun to receive pre-monsoon rains, easing grower concerns.

“We have had strong rains in all three districts in the last few days, which is good for both Arabicas and Robustas,” S Appadurai, Chairman of the Karnataka Planters’ Association, said (KPA).

Rains fell in January and early February in parts of the major coffee-growing districts of Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, and Hassan, which was unseasonably late and caused blossoms in both varieties. Rains in February coincided with Robusta harvesting, delaying harvesting in some areas. “Backing rains should have arrived within 25 days of the February rains, but those who didn’t get them had begun irrigating Robustas. In addition, these rains would assist in the blooming of some Arabica-growing regions, which should alleviate concerns,” he said.

In some parts of Hassan, the typical Revathy rain in early April, which farmers depend on for blossom showers, has been delayed, while some parts of Kodagu have received strong showers.

The untimely January-February rains have also raised the spectre of an early harvest in October for the crop year 2021-22 in those areas that received the early showers. Normally, the Arabica harvest begins from November, while robusta picking start from December. “Now with the global warming and early rains, the harvest is becoming little earlier,” Mandanna said.

India’s coffee crop for 2020-21 starting October was pegged higher at 3.42 lakh tonnes as the Coffee Board’s post monsoon estimates, higher than previous year’s 2.98 lakh tonnes.

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