Koraput Coffee has decided to market the beans produced in tribal-dominated Koraput district of Odisha across the country and abroad. Efforts to uplift socio-economic standard of coffee farmers will prove beneficial in their welfare, says CM Naveen Patnaik. In what could be more financial stability for coffee growers in Odisha, Tata Coffee has agreed to procure coffee from the State.
Tata Coffee, one of India’s largest coffee producers, is set to buy coffee beans grown by tribals in Odisha’s Koraput district. The new purchase deal involving Tata Coffee is likely to give confidence to tribal coffee growers for continuing their beverage plantation. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a statement on Sunday: “The cooperation of Tata Coffee in State government’s efforts to uplift socio-economic standard of coffee farmers will prove beneficial in their welfare. It carries importance in protection of livelihood of tribals at critical juncture like COVID pandemic."
Pradip Mohanty, President, Coffee Production Committee, said, “Initially there were lots of problems for marketing, But now the steps which have been taken by Tata Company will be well and good for farmers. Though we had sent coffee to Bengaluru, Hyderabad, it was not in an organised way. We got the lowest prices. To improve quality and production, we need government assistance. The land which is unused can be used for coffee production purpose and there should be processing plants for better results."
“Near about 32 MT Coffee has been procured for tribal and non tribal farmers. We will sell it to Tata Company. We have purchased Rs.200/Kg and to plan to sale Rs.230/KG to Tata Company. It will continue in the next season. Earlier, farmers had sold the product at Rs.150-160/Kg to private parties. Now we are purchasing it at Rs.200/Kg. They are getting 30-40 rupees per KG," said Tapan Mohapatra, Employee, CEO, KAPPCO.
According to the Tribal Development Co-operative Corporation of Odisha Limited (TDCCOL), everything about the 100% Arabica coffee beans is sourced from the State itself. Coffee is grown in the Laxmipur, Kashipur, Dasmantpur, Nandpur, Lamtaput, Koraput, Potangi and Nandpur blocks in Koraput. This year, around 28,790 kg of coffee cherries was procured from 193 tribals farmers, says TDCCOL. TDCCOL started selling Koraput coffee in 2019 through Adisha, its retail outlets. Koraput Agro Products Producer Company Limited (KAPPCO), a producer company of the Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society in Koraput, had approached TDCCOL to facilitate marketing of the coffee. KAPPCO said it was happy that Tata Coffee had shown interest in buying Koraput coffee from tribal farmers.
Md. Abdal Aktar, District Magistrate of Koraput, said, “Marketing of Koraput Coffee is a major priority of Koraput district administration as well as TDCCOL. Along these lines, we have provided samples of Koraput Coffee to Tata Company which they have tested and confirmed. As a result the entire procurement from last year which was stored at Sunabeda has been procured by Tata company. Two trucks of it has been dispatched to their processing plant in Karnataka. Our hope is that in the upcoming year, Tata Company will provide handholding support to our farmers and will encourage them. So that per hector coffee productivity can improve. In the upcoming year, we have decided, instead of planting Koraput coffee solely on government-owned land, we will also be providing saplings to farmers to plant up their own private land. It will encourage farmers to take greater care of what they have planted. In the recent years, we have also seen that many farmers have been planting in their private land. This will help to save the environment in that area. In the next two years we hope to increase our annual coffee plantation by up to ten times".
The beverage crop was introduced about 90 years ago in Koraput, situated in Eastern Ghats hill ranges at a height of 2,000-3,000 ft above sea level. According to a 10-year plan, an area of 46,500 ha will be brought under shade plantation and 22,570 ha under coffee in Koraput district. About 25,000 families of mostly tribals will be provided with a record of rights for coffee plants for their long-term livelihood.