Kodagu First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Kodagu, Coorgs and the People of Kodagu – here at Home and Overseas
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    January 20th, 2018adminAgriculture, Coffee, Kodagu (Coorg)

    Bengaluru (UNI):

    Subsidies to planters from the government might not be renewed and Coffee planters need to look inward and adopt to newer technologies and strategies to enhance the quality and quantity of Indian Coffee, Srivatsa Krishna, CEO and Secretary of the Coffee Board said on Thursday.

    Speaking at the plenary session of the India International Coffee Festival (IICF) here, he said the Board had recommended continuation of only two types of subsidies to the sector and it was up to the government to approve them or not.

    He said that the Coffee Board is making every effort to enhance both production and quality of Indian Coffee. But the planters need to embrace innovative methods and information technology for their own well being and should reduce dependence on the government.

    Mr Krishna said the Karnataka government had also initiated inquiry into allegations of coffee planters encroaching government and forest land to increase their acreage.

    He said that the Coffee Board will initiate a branding exercise for Coffee in the second quarter of 2018. It had held consultations with some top branding companies and highlighted the need for securing GI tag for some specific premium brand of Coffee to ensure that the Indian Coffee is known world over.

    The Coffee Board Secretary said considerable efforts have been made to enhance the productivity of coffee from 500 kg per hectare to one tonne per hectare, but still more inclusive approaches should be taken by the planters to further increase the productivity and go in for premium coffees to enhance exports.


    source: http://www.uniindia.com / UNI, United News of India / Home> Business Economy / Bengaluru – January 18th, 2018

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    The new structure suggests 10% hike in the basic daily wage

    Bengaluru :

    Amidst the prevailing volatile price trend, an imminent wage hike of over 10 per cent is seen inflating the cultivation costs for the coffee growers of Karnataka, which accounts for more than two-thirds of India’s output.

    Negotiations of wage hike have been completed recently between the growers and labour unions and the Karnataka government is expected to notify the new wages soon.

    As part of the new wage structure, the basic daily wage is fixed at ₹305 — up 10.10 per cent over the current ₹277.41, said N Bose Mandanna, a member of the committee that negotiated the new wage structure. Including the other social costs, the total outgo for a worker would be in the range of ₹450-470 per day, he said.

    Total outgo up
    Labour wages account for around 60 per cent of the cultivation costs in the coffee sector, followed by fertiliser and fuel which constitute 35 per cent, Mandanna said.

    “The wage hike is going to affect the growers badly,” said HT Pramod, Chairman, Karnataka Planters Association, the apex body of the growers in the State.

    To offset the wage hike impact, the government should help the growers by reducing the interest costs. “We have urged the government to reduce the interest on loans up to 25 lakh at 3 per cent and above 25 lakh at 6 per cent,” he said. Pramod further said the impact of the wage hike could be more on growers of arabica, where the cost of production and pest incidence is higher and the productivity is low compared to robustas.

    Global production
    The revision in wages, after a gap of around four years, is happening at a time when the prices globally have been volatile and at multi-year lows.

    The prevailing bearish trend in prices is largely attributed to a surge in global output, which is seen heading for a record in 2017-18 (October-September) at 158.8 million bags (of 60 kg each), about 0.7 per cent higher than last year’s 157.7 million bags, according to the latest estimates of the International Coffee Organisation released on Tuesday.

    Production of arabicas is projected to reach 97.3 million bags — down 1.1 per cent from the 2016-17 season.

    Robusta production in 2017-18 is seen at 61.5 million bags, up 3.7 per cent over last year, mainly on account of rebound in output of Vietnam, the largest producer of the variety. The prospect of a hike in global output is seen resulting in a bleak outlook for rebound in prices.

    “We don’t have any hopes of getting a better price this year,” said DM Purnesh, a large grower in Chikmagalur.

    Back home, the harvest of arabicas is almost over, while that of robustas has commenced in the key growing regions of Kodagu and Chikmagalur.

    For 2017-18, the State-run Coffee Board sees a 12 per cent increase in total output at 3.5 lakh tonnes with output of arabicas estimated at 1.03 lakh tonnes and robustas accounting for the rest. Growers and the trade, based on the harvest and marekt arrivals, estimate arabica production to be around 90,000 tonnes, while that of the robusta could be much lower than the Board’s estimates.

    source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com / Business Line / Home> Economy> Agri-Business / by Vishwanath Kulkarni / January 11th, 2018

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    The backwater of the KRS dam. According to a KSPCB official, Cauvery river water in Karnataka falls under 'C' grade, which means it is safe for drinking after treatment. DH FILE PHOTO

    The backwater of the KRS dam. According to a KSPCB official, Cauvery river water in Karnataka falls under ‘C’ grade, which means it is safe for drinking after treatment. DH FILE PHOTO

    Environment experts claim that the report on River Cauvery published by Anna University, Tamil Nadu, may be partially true, but, the river water is safe for consumption in Karnataka.

    S Srikantaswamy, professor in Environmental Science, University of Mysore (UoM), said, the pollution level at River Cauvery will be high during summer as water flow is less. The professor, who had conducted a study on River Cauvery two years back, said, “We cannot ignore the report, but, the pollution level in the river varies at different points in time.”

    “It is true that the river, which has its origin at Talacauvery, in Kodagu district, receives wastewater from the starting point itself. The river flows amidst coffee plantations and the coffee pulped water is directly let into the river without any treatment. Similarly, the industries located along the river discharge wastewater (including toxic effluents) without treatment,” he said.

    An official of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) said that he is unaware about the parameters of the study conducted by Anna University.

    “The water in Karnataka comes under ‘C’ grade, which means it is safe for drinking after treatment. The report might be true as the river might be more polluted in TN,” he said.

    In TN, a large number of small and medium textile dyeing industries, paper and sugar mills are located besides the river, and this could be the reason for high pollution levels. The pollution level during summer will be high as self-purification is low due to less volume of water flow, he said.

    In Mysuru district, except sewage water in a few places, no industry releases wastewater into the river directly. The authorities monitor the quality of water every month at various places, commencing from Kodagu district up to the border of Karnataka, and the river water quality is good, he claimed.

    Claiming that the River Cauvery in Karnataka is not polluted as much as River Ganga, he said, as per the physical appearance itself, the river is not much polluted.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / by Ranjith Kandya / Mysuru – DH News Service / December 25th, 2017

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    December 26th, 2017adminAgriculture, Business & Economy, Nature


    The construction of the state’s first goat milk producing and processing unit is in full swing at Byadagotta near Kushalnagar.

    Animal husbandry minister A Manju had in February laid foundation stone for the unit which will come up on 112 acres of land. It is estimated to cost Rs 5 crore of which the state government has released Rs 2 crore.

    Veterinary Department deputy director Padmanabha said it has planned to buy Jamalapuri, Seroy, and beetle breeds of goats from Maharashtra which provide upto 3 litres of milk per day.

    He said an expert team has been formed to purchase 200 goats for rearing. At later stages, goat milk producers unions will be established at village levels. He said the milk will be sent to Bengaluru for marketing and in later stages, the unit will pack the milk in sachets and sell in local markets too. Goat milk has a good demand in the state where it is sold at Rs 70 per litre.

    The department has also planned to grow grass for goats here and manure produced by goats will be sold to farmers.

    The government will appoint an assistant director, a doctor, technician, an agriculture officer, 50 labourers for the milk producing unit. The unit will also generate direct employment for 50 locals and provide indirect employment to hundreds of farmers, he said.

    Farmer Ganesh said dairy farming is a good idea for farmers to boost their incomes. He said the area has greenery which provides fodder for goats.

    Byadagotta village is situated just 8 kilometre from Kushalnagar and has potential for development. The state government also planned to construct a mini airport at Aluvara. Mangaluru university has already established a PG centre in Aluvara.

    source: http://www.msn.com / MSN.com / Home> Headlines> News – The New Indian Express / December 26th, 2017

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    CNC President N U Nachappa and CNC members observed Huthari festival by cutting paddy sheaves in the filed of Uthappa at Chikkabettageri near Kushalnagar on Sunday.

    CNC President N U Nachappa and CNC members observed Huthari festival by cutting paddy sheaves in the filed of Uthappa at Chikkabettageri near Kushalnagar on Sunday.

    The Codava National Council (CNC) led by its president N U Nachappa celebrated Huthari, the harvest festival of Kodagu, at a paddy field of Nandineravanda Uthappa, in Chikkabettageri village near Kushalnagar in Kodagu on Sunday.

    By cutting paddy sheaves in the paddy field of Uthappa, the members celebrated the festival in a traditional manner.

    The members offered prayers to the gods and began the Huthari celebrations with ‘Nere Kattuvo’ ritual. The leaves of mango, jackfruit, “Arali”, “Kumbali” and cashew nut trees were used in the ritual.

    After the ritual, the participants walked in a procession to paddy fields accompanied by the ‘Dudikottpat’ (Dudi is a small drum of Kodavas).

    After firing thrice in the air, the paddy sheaves were cut and brought home in a procession.

    The CNC members performed traditional Kolata, Pareya Kali and Chowkata on the occasion. People relished Payasa, “Thambittu,” “Kadubu”, “Pandikari” and other delicacies on the occasion.

    Speaking on the occasion, the CNC President urged the government to include Kodava language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

    He said that the government should accord tribal status to Kodavas.

    The central government should declare a holiday for Huthari festival.

    The CNC is continuing its struggle for an autonomous Kodava land and Kodava land should be declared a union territory. The culture and tradition of Kodavas should be included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Unesco, he said.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / by DH News Service, Kushalnagar / December 03rd, 2017

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    His employer had let loose dogs on him

    A Dalit worker in Kodagu, whose employer let loose dogs on him for quitting work, has been liberated from bonded labour.

    Harish, 30, who had quit working in the Paruvangada Kishen’s coffee beans godown at Balale village in Kodagu’s Virajpet taluk, was allegedly bundled into a jeep by Kishen and his associate Madhu on August 30 and tied up in a shed where three dogs were reportedly let loose on him.

    Mr. Harish had suffered injuries on his head, shoulder and hand. The accused later took Harish in their vehicle and left him near Balale hospital before the public admitted him to the hospital.

    Following a complaint by R. Siddaraju, State coordinator, Human Rights Forum for Dalit Liberation, the Assistant Commissioner and Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Madikeri Sub-Division conducted a probe.

    The inquiry had revealed that Harish had been forced to work in Kishen’s godown against his wishes. Kishen had forced Harish to work saying he owed him interest on borrowed money, the enquiry said.

    ‘Deprived freedom to move around’

    By abducting him and assaulting him, the accused had deprived Harish of his freedom to move around, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate said, while issuing a Certificate for Release from Bonded Labour on November 14, 2017.

    During inquiry, Harish said he had been working in the godown for ₹200 a day and was paid his wages weekly. Though Harish had taken a loan of ₹10,000 to go to Sabarimala, the dues had been cleared on return. However, long working hours (7 a.m. to 2 a.m.) and other problems made him quit and join another coffee estate as an employee, which angered the accused.

    Meanwhile, Harish lodged a complaint with the Kodagu police after recovering from his injuries.

    In September, the Kodagu police arrested the accused, who were later remanded in judicial custody. Presently, the accused are out on bail.

    The Certificate for Release of Bonded Labour entitles Harish to immediate compensation of ₹20,000 from the government, and financial assistance of ₹80,000 upon conviction of the accused.

    Meanwhile, the International Justice Mission (IJM), in a statement, said bonded labourers often face extreme violence and exploitation. IJM’s William Christopher said the victim was traumatised and still feared for his life.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Special Correspondent / Mysuru – November 21st, 2017

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    Students performed a peacock dance at Yuvajanotsava held at Forestry College, Ponnampet on Friday.

    Students performed a peacock dance at Yuvajanotsava held at Forestry College, Ponnampet on Friday.

    Forestry College, Ponnampet won the overall championship in the cultural programmes held as part of the two-day Yuvajanotsava at Forestry College in Ponnampet on Friday.

    Students of Forestry College had won 106 points while students of Mudigere Horticulture College won the second place with 96 points. In the diploma category, the students of Brahamavar College won the overall championship while Kathalegere Diploma College won the second place.

    Yuvajanotsava, under the title of Yuvaspandana, was organised by the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Shivamogga.

    Students of Ponnampet Forestry College and Mudigere Horticultural College presented a peacock dance, Pooja Kunitha, Nandikolu, Veeragasem Bhoothakunitha and others. Mudigere College students entertained the audience with Dollu Kunitha and Pooja Kunitha while students of the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Shivamogga presented Lambani dance.

    Rangayana Director Bhagirathi Bai said that youth have immense talent. Rangayana will organise College Natakotsava next month.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / DHNS, Madikeri / November 11th, 2017

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    The high GST rate, besides bringing down instant coffee consumption, would also have a significant impact on the coffee farmers of South India

    New Delhi / Bengaluru :

    The coffee industry has sought a review of the GST rates on instant coffee and the curing process, while stating that such high rates would hurt consumption and, eventually, growers’ realisations.

    Coffee growers are under pressure as the volatile trend in global prices, which directly influence local prices, has already kept their realisations in check.

    The GST on instant coffee has been fixed at 28 per cent, while the curing or dry processing of the beans attracts a levy of 18 per cent.

    Parity sought with tea

    Making a case for reduction in GST on instant coffee, The India Coffee Trust, represented by various stakeholders from the sector, has appealed to the Prime Minister’s Office to bring it down to 18 per cent, on par with the instant tea.

    Anil Kumar Bhandari, President, ICT, in a letter to the PMO, said the high GST rate, besides bringing down instant coffee consumption in the country, would also have a significant impact on the coffee farmers of Karnataka and South India, since instant coffee manufactures will source less raw coffee from them.

    According to the ICT, of the 3.46 lakh tonnes of raw coffee produced in the country, about 2.78 lakh tonnes is exported, while the rest is consumed domestically.

    Of the 0.78 lakh tonnes consumed domestically, about 50,000 tonnes is used in the form of roast and ground, while the remaining 28,000 is consumed as instant coffee.

    South India accounts for the bulk of the coffee consumption, though off-take has picked up in the northern States in recent years.

    The Trust said instant coffee is largely consumed by poor consumers and the cost per cup is lower when compared to the roast and ground.

    It also said that higher tax would impede the development of the coffee habit in North and East India.

    Seeking a cure

    Meanwhile, the All India Coffee Curers Association has demanded the withdrawal of 18 per cent GST levied on coffee curing.

    Curing involves dry processing and grading of green coffee beans.

    As curing is an investment-intensive process, the majority of coffee growers normally outsource the dry processing of the green beans to curing works, where they are processed, graded and sorted.

    “Any levy on curing would eventually hit farm-gate prices, thereby reducing growers’ realisations. The government should withdraw the levy,” said AN Devaraj, President of the All India Coffee Curers Association.

    Farm-gate price worries

    Coffee growers are concerned about how the impact of the GST levy on curing will influence farm-gate prices, even as the early harvesting of the arabica variety has begun in parts of Kodagu and Chikmagalur, the main growing regions.

    “The GST on curing may impact farm-gate prices. With the season yet to start in full swing, it is too early to quantify the impact,” said HT Pramod, Chairman of the Karnataka Planters’ Association.

    Arabica prices are hovering between ₹7,000 and ₹7,200 per 50-kg bag for the parchment, while arabica cherry prices are in the ₹3,700-4,000 per bag range, lower than last year.

    “We are waiting for clarity on this issue. No sale of coffee from the new crop has taken place as growers are not in a hurry to sell as prices are low,” said N Bose Mandanna, a grower in Kodagu.

    source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com / Business Line / Home> Economy> AgriBusiness / by KR Srivats & Vishwanath Kulkarni / October 30th, 2017

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    Plantations with native trees produce more coffee which is also of better quality

    Forest trees are good, not just for the environment but for your coffee too: having more forest trees in coffee plantations maintains tree diversity and also increases coffee production and quality, shows a study. This could be vital information as native trees are being replaced with exotics in coffee-growing landscapes to increase coffee production.

    India, the world’s sixth largest coffee-producer, grows ‘shade’ coffee, under the canopies of naturally occurring native trees such as jackfruit, Black dammar (dhup) and Magnolia (champa) which are legally-protected. However, some planters now replace dead native trees with exotics like Silver oaks which are not protected and can be felled for timber. Silver oaks also serve well as pepper stands, and cultivating pepper on them supplements planters’ incomes. This ‘intensification’ – reducing and replacing native shade tree cover – contributes to forest loss in the tropics, where coffee is cultivated.

    Scientists at ETH Zurich (Switzerland) and the College of Forestry (Kodagu) examined whether this intensification affects native tree biodiversity and coffee productivity in Karnataka’s Kodagu district, which produces more than one-third of India’s coffee. They studied tree species diversity in 25 coffee plantations varying in native shade tree cover, with some having only non-native Silver oaks as canopies.

    The benefits

    Their results, published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, show that 95 native tree species offer shade for coffee in Kodagu; and intensification decreases this tree diversity. Some plantations, which still retained native trees, even had red-listed tree species (designated as threatened by the IUCN), and some of them in high numbers. The team found that such plantations produced more coffee, which was also of better quality . Silver oak-dominated plantations showed more single-seeded fruits and attacks by the Coffee berry borer, a major pest.

    “This is likely due to reduced predators such as ants, birds, or parasitoids, in Silver oak-dominated plantations,” says lead author Maike Nesper (ETH Zurich). Protecting native trees could be crucial, she adds.

    “Some regions are re-diversifying tree canopy cover in coffee agroforests, as consumers are increasingly interested in biodiversity conservation and ready to pay premium prices…but to gain the same level of native diversity by reforestation is nearly impossible, and it is crucial to diversity in the first place.”

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Environment / by Aathira Perinchery / September 30th, 2017

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    September 26th, 2017adminAgriculture, Business & Economy, Records, All
    For the second year running, Karnataka has been named the country's largest pepper producer, accounting for 45% of the spice produced in India

    For the second year running, Karnataka has been named the country’s largest pepper producer, accounting for 45% of the spice produced in India

    Karnataka has overtaken Kerala and become the country’s leading pepper producer, accounting for 45% of the total production.The Centre’s Spices Board data puts Karnataka ahead of Kerala for the second year running. While Karnataka produced 33,000 metric tonnes of pepper in 2014-15, against Kerala’s 28,000MT, the margin widened in 2015-16 as Karnataka’s yield remained 33,000MT and Kerala’s fell to 26,000MT.

    Kerala’s decline, to a great extent, has been because of its black pepper vines falling to quick wilt, a disease that causes sudden wilting, drying and death of the vines. In Wayanad district in Kerala, farmers lost almost 90% of their vines to the disease. The Spices Board has taken up extensive research to contain the pest. The sudden scourge, however, has turned the focus on pepper production in south Karnataka districts.

    Pepper is grown in several parts of Karnataka, mainly in Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Madikeri and Kodagu.

    Alternative to areca, rubber

    The state’s plantation growers have adopted the spice as an economically profitable alternative to areca (palm), coffee, rubber and coconut. The spice crop is grown in the middle of coffee plants, said Bose Mandanna, former vice-president of Coffee Board and a leading planter in Suntikoppa in Kodagu. At least 40 pepper vines are planted in an acre of robusta coffee plantation. This goes up to 80 vines if it is an arabica plantation, because these are grown at lower heights and produce less coffee per hectare.The harvest is done during February-March.

    “Kodagu accounts for 25% of the pepper production in the country,” Mandanna said. An acre fetches 100kg to 150kg of pepper but with intensive cultivation, some growers get up to 500kg.

    There is some difference in the production data of the government’s Spices Board and the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), but both sources indicate that Karnataka is beginning to unseat Kerala from the No.1 spot. NCDEX data shows Karnataka having a big lead over Kerala in 2014-15, marginally losing out to Kerala the following year, but regaining the lead in 2016-17.

    NCDEX says India accounts for 17% of the world’s production of pepper, and is the second largest producer after Vietnam. The exchange relaunched its pepper contract on the platform in July, after about five years. In just three days, it saw a total volume of 807 tonnes of pepper, valued at Rs 38 crore, being traded.

    Sarat Mulukutla, chief (commercial segment) of NCDEX, said considering the rise in pepper production in Karnataka, the exchange is launching a third delivery centre in Hassan. The other two are in Kochi and Kozhikode in Kerala.

    Attractive price

    Anish Madappa of T Shettigeri in south Kodagu said pepper production had grown in Karnataka for a decade due to the good price it fetches. Ten years ago, a kilo of pepper fetched Rs 260, now it is about Rs 680. Coffee planters have started growing pepper on poles with the help of biomass, leading to a jump in production. Drip and sprinkler irrigation have helped minimise water loss and increased the yield per acre. “Once a high rising (pepper) creeper is planted, it will provide yields for 35 to 50 years with little or no investment,” said Kannagi Sheshadri, a farmer cultivating plantation crops in Theerthhahalli taluk. “The plants need to be carefully treated to achieve maximum yield. I reaped 12 tonnes last year and hope to double it this year,” said Joney Mathew, a farmer with crops in Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru districts.

    “Pepper produced in Kodagu is of the best quality,” said Madappa. “This is because we normally use only Bordeaux spray, which contains lime and copper sulphate.” The spray helps protect the pepper vines from fungal problems and resists quick wilt disease.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News / by Shalina Pillai & G. Rajendra & CV Raghavendra Rao / TNN / September 26th, 2017

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