Indian Coffee Growers Cheer as Robusta Production Drops Globally, Prices Hit Record High

India’s robusta coffee industry has seen a significant increase in prices, reaching Rs 10,080 per 50 kg bag as of Friday. This marks a historic high since the establishment of coffee estates in the Western Ghats region in the 1860s by the British. Unlike Arabica coffee, which has typically ranged between Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,500 per 50 kg bag for nearly 15 years, robusta prices have typically ranged between these rates. The surge in robusta coffee prices has brought relief and joy to coffee growers, especially those with smaller holdings who primarily cultivate robusta due to its lower input costs compared to Arabica. Factors such as decreased coffee production in major robusta-producing countries due to adverse weather conditions and changes in cropping patterns have contributed to this windfall for Indian growers.

The Coffee Board of India also attributes the price surge to major robusta coffee growers like Vietnam and Indonesia shifting to more profitable crops such as dragon fruits and avocados. Additionally, there is an increasing demand for coffee in the cosmetics industry. Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu collectively contribute to 83% of coffee production in India, with Karnataka alone accounting for 70% of the total output. However, coffee plantations in Karnataka have faced challenges, including a scarcity of skilled workers, steep increase in labor costs, and wildlife encroachment.

Read More @ The Economic Times

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