About Coffee Board
During 1940’s, the coffee industry in India was in a desperate state due to the II World war resulting in very low prices and ravages of pests and diseases. At this time, the Government of India established the ‘Coffee Board’ through a constitutional act “Coffee Act VII of 1942” under the administrative control of Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The Board comprises 33 members including the Chairman and the Secretary & Chief Executive Officer. The remaining 31 members represent the various interests such as coffee growing industry, coffee trade interests, curing establishments, interests of labour and consumers, representatives of governments of the principal coffee growing states, and Members of Parliament.
Coffee Board serves as the friend, philosopher and guide to the Coffee sector covering the entire value chain. The core activities are primarily directed towards research & development, transfer of technology, quality improvement, extending development support to growing sector, promotion of coffee in export and domestic markets. The activities of the Board are broadly aimed at
(i) enhancement of production, productivity & quality
(ii) export promotion for achieving higher value returns for Indian Coffee
(iii) supporting development of Domestic market.
In India, coffee is traditionally grown in the Western Ghats spread over Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Coffee cultivation is also being expanding rapidly in the non-traditional areas of AP and Odisha as well as in the North East states. Coffee is predominantly an export-oriented commodity and 65% to 70% of coffee produced in the country is exported while the rest is consumed within the country. Indian coffee industry earns a foreign exchange to the tune of about Rs.4000 Crores. Indian coffee has created a niche for itself in the international market and the Indian Coffees are earning high premium, particularly Indian Robusta which is highly preferred for its good blending quality. Arabica Coffee from India is also well received in the international market. Coffee is an export product with low import intensity and high employment content. This is evident from the fact that more than six lakh persons are directly employed and an equal number of individuals get indirect employment from this sector.
The two main varieties of coffee viz., Arabica and Robusta are grown in India. Arabica is mild coffee, but the beans being more aromatic, it has higher market value compared to Robusta beans. On the other hand Robusta has more strength and is, therefore, used in making various blends. Arabica is grown in higher altitudes than Robusta. The cool and equable temperature, ranging between 15 degree Celsius to 25 degree Celsius, is suitable for Arabica while for Robusta, hot and humid climate with temperature ranging from 20 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius is suitable. Arabica requires more care & nurture and is more suitable for large holdings whereas Robusta is suitable irrespective of size of the farm. The harvest of Arabica takes place between November to January, while for Robusta it is December to February. Arabica is susceptible to pests & diseases such as White Stem Borer, leaf rust etc., and requires more shade than Robusta.