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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    M.S. Boje Gowda

    M.S. Boje Gowda

    Regulating the indiscriminate use of chicory — used as an additive with coffee powder — is high on the agenda of the new chairman of the Coffee Board of India, M.S. Boje Gowda, a third-generation coffee planter from Chikkamagaluru district, who took charge on Wednesday.

    “The farmer grows coffee in its pure form. But by the time it reaches the consumer, there is heavy addition of chicory deforming it. We don’t know how much chicory is added in the branded packaged coffee powder as well,” he said adding that he would discuss the issue with all stakeholders and even explore legal options to ban the addition of chicory to coffee powder.

    “If the consumers want chicory let them buy it as chicory and add it. There will be choice for consumers as well,” he said.

    When asked whether the Coffee Board of India had the teeth to enforce such a regulation, he said they would work with the Union government towards the end.

    Mr. Gowda is the first coffee grower to become the Chairman of the Board after a gap of 70 years. In the past, the post was held by bureaucrats.

    Coffee planters from across the State, who came to the city as he took charge on Wednesday, expressed immense hope of their problems being solved with a coffee planter as the chairman.

    Apart from monitoring the use of chicory, Mr. Gowda said that his aim is also to increase domestic consumption of coffee while doubling the yield in the country.

    “The per capita consumption of coffee is just around 200 grams and is mainly concentrated in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. We should work towards branding coffee and spread consumption to other parts of the country,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set a target to double the annual coffee production in the country from 3 lakh tonnes to 6 lakh tonnes.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / Staff Reporter / Bengaluru – May 18th, 2017

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    May 16th, 2017adminBusiness & Economy, Coffee News

    Coffee Board seeks inputs from private players on new business model

    A file photo of India Coffee House in Bengaluru

    A file photo of India Coffee House in Bengaluru

    Bengaluru / Kochi :

    The iconic India Coffee House is set for a makeover.

    The state-run Coffee Board, which operates some 12 India Coffee House outlets in various locations including Parliament House, is exploring options to revamp and expand as part of its efforts to leverage the brand and promote coffee consumption across the country.

    The board intends to go in for a revenue-sharing model and on a minimum investment basis for the proposed expansion.

    It has initiated consultations with private players and has sought estimates on the capital expenditure and operational expenses for running a 1,000-1,500 sq feet store and smaller format kiosks of around 200-300 sq ft in 75-100 cities.

    Pre-bid discussions

    Confirming the development, Srivatsa Krishna, Secretary, Coffee Board, said the pre-bid discussions were still in the initial stages.

    “We have two more rounds of consultations to go,” Krishna said, stating that clarity on the concept would emerge sometime in July.

    Long before the advent of the café culture led by chains such as Coffee Day, Baristas, Costas and Starbucks, India Coffee House was synonymous with the growth of the coffee culture in the country. ICH has a significant brand recall, especially among the 40-plus generation. Red turbaned staff in white uniforms serving coffees and snacks at reasonably prices is a hallmark of ICH outlets.

    ICH used to be a favourite hangout or adda for political activists, writers, government employees, small-time lawyers, sales executives and the unemployed: in other words, a curious mix of the eclectic and the mundane.

    Its old-world and unpretentious ambience is welcoming of everyone, not least because of the affordable coffees. The impact of liberalisation, which brought about a change in the coffee marketing system in the mid-1990s, led to a downsizing of the Coffee Board workforce and the closure of a number of loss-making India Coffee Houses.

    “Some of the outlets were taken over by co-operatives formed by the retireed employees of the Coffee Board and continue to be run by them,” said N Bose Mandanna, former vice-chairman of Coffee Board.

    A welcome sign

    Industry stakeholders see the renewed effort to revamp the ICH by roping in private players as a positive development.

    “We welcome any efforts to promote coffee. The Board should look at the right vehicle to expand the ICH,” said Anil Bhandari, President, India Coffee Trust.

    Interestingly, the Board, which started India Coffee House in the early 1940s, had shut down several coffee houses in the mid-50s in various cities and dismissed many employees. Following this, Communist leader AK Gopalan took over the leadership of the retrenched employees and organised societies under the name of India Coffee Board Workers Cooperative Society. The first society was formed in Bangalore in 1957; it opened the first Indian Coffee House in Delhi on December 27, 1957.

    The Indian Coffee House, as distinct from the Board-run India Coffee House, is completely owned and managed by its employees.

    The society now has a chain with over 51 outlets and associate canteens operating in all major towns and in government establishments, particularly in Kerala.

    source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com / Business Line / Home> News / by Vishwanath Kulkarni – V. Sajeev Kumar / Bengaluru-Kochi – May 10th, 2017

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    Arjun Belmar owns 34 acres in T Dasarahalli, off Tumkur Road

    Arjun Belmar owns 34 acres in T Dasarahalli, off Tumkur Road

    For close to 30 years, Arjun Belmar hasn’t spent a penny on buying coffee. He lives in the city and grows his own coffee. Yes, you read that right. He does. Belmar and his family offer proof that coffee is not only grown in Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu, but also right here in our city.

    The businessman has been growing coffee in the face of scorching summers or water scarcity. “Bengaluru is 900mt above sea level and the land can be utilised for coffee. But one needs to grow it properly in the shade,” he explains.

    When Bangalore Mirror visited his 3,000 sq ft coffee plantation, it felt like a forest in the middle of the concrete hub.

    “Years ago, T Dasarahalli was away from the city. Just about 100 people lived here and we had only one bus to our house from City Market. My father used to love plants and we grew everything on our land. Not just variety of trees and plants, we also had many cows which used to give us 200-300 lt of milk. We used to share it with whoever came to our home,” Belmar says.

    The grand old times are gone, but the family continues its green tradition. They keep bees and harvest honey too on their property.

    However, Belmar, remembers a time when they just had to dig up to half a foot to find water. “That is how we were able to grow ginger, grapes, vegetables, paddy, wheat, sugarcane, betel, pepper and other plants,” he said.

    On how they started growing coffee, Belmar’s explanation is simple – Everyone in the family loves coffee and wanted to taste the authentic thing. “We used to have our own cows and buffaloes for milk and grow sugarcane for jaggery and sugar. Why then, can we not have our own coffee plants, we thought. Then we went to
    Chikkamagaluru in search of the plants.”

    Though they were unsure if coffee plants can survive in Bengaluru, they kept going with their plan. “Today we have around 50 plants,” he says. “We had other bigger trees on the land. Coffee grows in semi-shade so we put them between these big trees. We watered the plants continuously and saw the first flowers on the plants,” he says.

    He recalls that his father had tears in his eyes when he saw the coffee plant flowering at last.

    “Each coffee plant gives around 2-3kg of coffee fruit. In a year, we get close to 50 kg. We pluck the fruit and clean it and keep it for drying. Once it has dried properly, we give it for processing and get it done in a customised manner. We tell them whether we want it with or without chicory,” he said.

    His friends and family, who visit the farm, are in awe of the plantation. “My friends used to ask me if I were living in Madikeri or Bengaluru. They love the coffee we give them in packets. People who visit us from abroad wait to visit again to refill their stock,” he said.

    Belmar also grows the cocoa plant. He has close to 150 cocoa plants, the seeds of which he sends to Mangaluru for processing.

    “We drink premium coffee personally handled by us. It is better than the coffee grown in Chikkamagaluru,” he says, with a hint of pride.

    It’s all about the honey

    Belmar says they started keeping bees as his grandfather was one of the founders of the Bee-keepers Association in the city. “We have been harvesting honey on our land for the past 40-50 years. Keeping bees easy here because of the rich bio-diversity.”

    Bee-keeping in the city dates to the times the British were here. Belmar says, “It was during the British rule that the Bee-keepers Association began. These days, people are trained to keep bees and harvest honey.”

    He has one special information about the honey. “When the Neem tree is flowering, the honey tastes best and it is clear. In the mango season, the honey is quite reddish and very sweet. When the tamarind tree is flowering, honey is a little sour. For each season, we have a different flavour of honey.”

    source: http://www.bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Bangalore> Others / by Kumaran P, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / May 10th, 2017

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    New Delhi (IANS) :

    The central government on Thursday appointed Prabhat Kamal Bezboruah as Chairman of Kolkata-based Tea Board and M.S. Boje Gowda as Chairman of Bengaluru-based Coffee Board.

    Bezboruah has been serving as the Chairman of Tea Research Association and Gowda is a well-known coffee grower.

    The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the proposal to appoint them, an order of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.

    Bezboruah is appointed for the period up to November 1, 2018, while Gowda will have a tenure up to December 14, 2018.

    “Necessary communication in this regard has been sent to the Department of Commerce,” the DoPT said.

    The Tea Board is entrusted with a supervisory role for tea industry, while the Coffee Board takes care of the interests of coffee growers.

    –IANS

    bdc/nir

    source: http://www.canindia.com / CanIndia.com / Home> Business> Economy / IANS / by CanIndia New Wire Services / May 04th, 2017

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    Cupfuls of goodness   Served at The Flying Squirrel

    Cupfuls of goodness
    Served at The Flying Squirrel

    The Flying Squirrel serves high quality artisanal coffees

    Catching up over coffee these days seems passé. The same cold coffee served under some fancy name, leaves you confused over whether you are drinking melted ice or cold milk. But all is not lost for coffee connoisseurs. There are cafes committed to serving the best coffee without compromising on quality.

    The Flying Squirrel, located in a bustling food street in Koramangala, stands out for their high quality artisanal speciality coffees. The cool 36-seater micro roastery and cafe has a relaxed ambience with plenty of natural light streaming in. Make no mistake, though, this is no ordinary cafe. It is a coffee brand and the emphasis is on coffee, there’s no deviating from that.

    The Flying Squirrel, started in 2013, by Tej Thammaiah and Ashish DÁbreo, has coffee beans sourced directly from an estate in Coorg, from where the cafe has got its name. One of the common sightings at the estate is the flying squirrel.

    It is also where coffee is freshly roasted and ground before it is retailed within the city and to other parts of the country.

    As you enter the micro roastery and cafe, the aroma of freshly roasted coffee and the sound of swirling in the coffee machine, fills the air. We make ourselves comfortable and then look through the menu, which has salads and burgers to choose from. The emphasis is on the coffees, which are available as pour over, espresso or Americano, cappuccino, and latte. We can’t wait to try their signature coffees, so we order parama cuppaccino , a blend of arabica and robusta. Its smooth taste gives you ‘coffee coma’ so to speak. Eager to try another variety, we are served clouds in my coffee, which has a bolder flavour than parama, but it leaves you refreshed. ‘Tis the season for cold brews, which is a welcome addition to the menu to beat the sweltering heat. So we sample citrus bloom cold coffee, infused with a hint of orange, which is a burst of delightful mildly sweet flavours.

    The food has been specially designed to complement the coffees, which is central to the menu. We try the buckwheat noodles with smoked salmon. It is fresh and healthy, but the salmon slow cooked in olive oil gives it a delicious twist. There’s the Coorg bird eye chilli (grown in Coorg) spaghetti with jumbo shrimps that is again mildly flavoured. And if we thought that the food couldn’t get any better, we are serve millet lasagna.

    Wrapped in multi-millet and grain lasagna sheets with baby spinach and mushroom filling. YUM! The beef burger is served with a lovely relish and fries.

    Here is a place that feels like home. Where you can spend some quality time with friends over freshly brewed coffee in large servings.

    —————————————————-
    The Flying Squirrel Micro Roastery and Café /
    @136, 1st Cross Road, 5th Block, Koramangala /
    HITS:Coffees and millet lasagna /
    MISSES:Beef burger/
    MEAL FOR TWO:Rs. 1,200 /
    : 40991044
    —————————————————-

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> Metro Plus / by Sravasti Datta / April 28th, 2017

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    M S Jayashree, partner in the venture

    M S Jayashree, partner in the venture

    Bengaluru :

    If you are an avid coffee lover and miss the taste and aroma of filter coffee when you travel outside Karnataka, here is an instant solution.

    Mysuru-based HABICAF (Habit and Coffee) has come up with a readymade coffee decoction that will give you authentic coffee filter anytime you desire. They will be in Bengaluru from April 28 to 30 as part of the Organic and Millet Nation Trade fair at Palace Grounds.

    HABICAF which started marketing and selling its product in October last year is getting a good response. Vijai Bopanna hails from Kodagu, and for him, coffee estates were a common sight at his native, Gonikoppa. “I tried a couple of other ventures before starting HABICAF a few months ago. As packaging, we are supplying filter coffee decoction in a sachet with a nozzle,’’ he says. The sachet is specially designed to retain the aroma of the coffee, Bopanna adds. He says that they make filter coffee with the coffee powder from his hometown.

    “We use the traditional method to extract decoction, just like we do at home, but in a larger quantity. We add Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) – approved preservative that keeps the decoction fresh for longer time,” he adds. M S Jayashree is his partner in the venture. If the seal is not opened, one can use the decoction up to six months. If the seal of the nozzle is opened, it can be used up to 20 days without the need for refrigeration and 30 days when kept in a refrigerator. Each sachet contains 200 ml of decoction and can prepare 30 to 40 standard sized cups of coffee, depending on how strong the person loves his or her coffee.

    According to Bopanna, most of the coffee beans are procured from Coorg, Sakleshpur and Chikmagalur. For civet coffee, they are procuring beans from Indonesia. “We are coming up with many other flavours other than the regular coffee. Our flavours will be Vanilla, Cinnamon, Hazelnut and much more. We also coming up with herbals. There is cold brew coffee which can be served cold and without milk,’’he adds.

    HABICAF decoction is available in Mysuru and Bengaluru. “Very soon we are planning to sell our products through an e-commerce platform,’’ he says. “Right from getting the beans, making powder, adding chicory, extracting decoction, 90 percent of our processing is natural,’’ he adds.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bengaluru / by Ashwin S. Sripad / Express News Service / April 26th, 2017

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    April 28th, 2017adminBusiness & Economy, Coffee News
    iStock

    iStock

    The cup that cheers has come a long way. Artisanal coffees are taking the centrestage for the distinctive taste that these possess

    Bindu Gopal Rao

    In the recent years, wine tasting is a word that most urban folks have come to understand. However today, coffee-tasting sessions are slowly but surely making a mark in the pretentious tasting space. The reason is a clear trend towards having speciality coffee, artisan coffee, and even micro roastaries akin to micro breweries. Well if that sounds like a lot of jargon, it is really not. For the uninitiated, micro-roastery is a small space where coffee is roasted in small batches that allow better control over profile roasting, manipulating temperature and time graphs to throw up interesting nuances and taste detailing. Artisan coffee is about applying artisanal cultivation, processing, drying and roasting methods to create unique and distinct coffees merging science and art!

    New vistas

    Coffees can come in a number of varieties, even if you ignore the variations introduced by types or sources of beans.

    “The brews themselves are pretty much the same — save for a few bells and whistles like almond milk and Nutella, but the brewing methods have changed. The real magic happens in the roaster (machine), with the hand of the roaster (person) being paramount in successfully crafting a product that deserves the tag artisan coffee,” avers Mihir Rebello, co-founder & Roaster, Coffee Mechanics.

    Cold brew is catching on and is basically brewing coffee without any application of heat. “We leave the coffee grounds in cold water for about 14-20 hours, and then filter it to create a refreshing, well-rounded, naturally sweet brew. Nitro brew is cold brew infused with nitrogen under high pressure. The nitrogen blends into the brew, stretching the natural flavours of coffee, without adding any additional taste (nitrogen has no taste or smell). The brew is also rendered creamy and full bodied,” says Ashish D’abreo, founding partner of The Flying Squirrel, Artisanal Coffee.

    Today, artisanal coffees are taking the centrestage, considering the unique and distinctive taste profile that these coffees possess and offer in the cup. Sunalini N Menon, director of Tata Coffee Ltd and CEO, Coffee Labs India (P), says, “bullet proof coffee that entails to the addition of coconut oil to the coffee drink to energise and stimulate the coffee drinker, especially those who would like to have that extra dose of energy is trending. Besides micro, lots of coffees, single estate and single origin coffees continue to enjoy a special place in the niche coffee market.”

    iStock

    iStock

    Being arty

    At the heart of artisan coffee is the idea that what you are consuming is a special product, one that took hours of painstaking effort to create and provides you with an experience that is above and beyond what the market generally offers.

    “The new-age coffee connoisseur wants a ready solution to their coffee desires, and that’s where artisan coffees come in the capsule format, thereby eliminating the hard work and ensuring that a perfect coffee is only moments away,” says Tuhin Jain, co-founder of Bonhomia. Coffee By Di Bella is currently showcasing different flavours via innovative coffee beverage creations like Spanish lattes, diamond cappuccinos, sparkling cloud drinks and coffee from different regions like Panama, Ethiopia and Colombia.

    “Every cup of coffee has a story and artisan coffee pioneers want to showcase and bring to life the entire drop to cup process of the ultimate coffee experience,” says Phillip Di Bella, founder, Coffee By Di Bella.

    For the connoisseurs

    The name of the game is customisation and that is possible by playing with roast levels and grind size. The clincher, however, is the story for each coffee in terms of its origin, the terroir, the processing methods used and the roast profile. Rhea Sanghi, community manager of Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters, explains what makes their coffees tick. “Firstly, the coffee is completely traceable and the information about each of the farms is shared on the pouches as well as the website. The coffee is freshly roasted only on order and the roasting date clearly stated on the pouches. This matters because you want to consume the coffee within three weeks of the roast date (not the date the pack was opened or the coffee was ground) to get the best flavour.”

    Home brewing is catching on and the cafe experience is now at home. Kobid Sinha, beverage manager at JW Marriott, Kolkata, avers, “People strive to take everything back to the basics by starting with green un-roasted beans and crafting our own syrups. Everybody now wants to make everything fresh and from scratch.”

    Although maybe not fast enough, the awareness of different brewing methodologies is making equipments such as a French press, Moka pot and AeroPress household names.

    According to Tapaswini Purnesh, director marketing and promotions, Classic Coffees, “Food pairings with coffee is a trend that is further evolving every year. If paired right, a simple nibble with your sip of coffee can create a flavour explosion and expose some beautiful flavours from your cup.”

    Bullet proof coffee that involves the addition of coconut oil to the coffee drink to energise and stimulate the coffee drinker, especially those who would like to have that extra dose of energy,

    is trending. Besides micro, lots of coffees, single estate and single origin, continue to enjoy a special place in the niche market

    Coorg to Seattle

    The Nullore microlot of Tata Coffee is an example of an artisanal coffee possessing distinctive features of flavours such as orange, lemon, chocolate and caramel. Grown in the Tata Coffee Limited estate in Coorg, block 19 of Bhuthanahadlu division, was selected due to the presence of fruit bat for a microlot. The coffee berries from this area were picked at the right stage of maturity and processed separately. The traceability of the lot was ensured at every stage till it was dispatched to the curing mill and the lot was garbled to ensure 100 per cent uniformity. The lot was eventually selected to the Starbucks reserve programme and is now sold out at the Seattle outlet.

    source: http://www.tribuneindia.com / The Tribune / Home> Trends> Bling It On / April 15th, 2017

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    Fresh brew Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the launch of the Coffee Board’s soil health cards and web portal, in Bengaluru on Friday. To her right are GV Krishna Rau, Advisor -Agricultural Marketing & Tribal Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, and Arati Dewan Gupta, Director of Finance, Coffee Board

    Fresh brew Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the launch of the Coffee Board’s soil health cards and web portal, in Bengaluru on Friday. To her right are GV Krishna Rau, Advisor -Agricultural Marketing & Tribal Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, and Arati Dewan Gupta, Director of Finance, Coffee Board

    Bengaluru :

    Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman exhorted the Coffee Board on Friday to take up aggressive branding and promotion of Indian coffees.

    “It’s the age of branding. You need to brand everything. You need to have high profile marketing for everything to reach even the lower end of the pyramid,” she said.

    The Minister was speaking at an event where she distributed soil health cards to growers and launched a web portal — a Coffee Board initiative towards soil fertility appraisal and soil health monitoring in traditional growing regions.

    Citing the recent example of Araku Valley coffee making its presence felt in Paris with the support of industry, Sitharaman called upon the Board to “break the usual trodden path” in branding and marketing of Indian coffee. “If Araku on its own can go to Paris, Coffee Board should have pushed itself and said — I will market Coorg coffee. We should brand it,” she said. Branding ensures the market is sustained, she added.

    Noting that countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and even Myanmar have made long strides in packaging, value addition, presenting and marketing of coffee, the Commerce Minister said: “The Coffee Board obviously is now going to have to be on its toes.”

    Sitharaman further said newer areas such as Uttarakhand and Himachal are attempting to grow arabica coffee. “The new growing areas have a great deal of enthusiasm and the energy they have is fantastic,” she remarked while expressing confidence that there will be expansion in area under coffee.

    The Commerce Minister also indicated that the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana will be expanded to even small coffee growers, who have been facing the brunt of erratic rainfall pattern in recent years.

    About 98 per cent of India’s coffee holdings are less than 10 hectares and held by small growers.

    The Central Coffee Research Institute (CCRI), in collaboration with the National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Policy, has started creating a database on the soil health in major growing regions and rendering site specific nutrient recommendations through soil health cards.

    “The card is designed to present information on soil health indicators like pH, electrical conductivity, organic carbon and micro nutrient content, among others. It will enable judicious use of fertilisers and correct nutrient deficiencies,” said Y Raghuramulu, Director, CCRI.

    Coffee flavoured stamp
    After coming out with sandalwood, rose and jasmine flavoured stamps, the Postal Department will launch a stamp that will have coffee flavour.

    Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha will be releasing the stamp in Bengaluru on Sunday that will be a collector’s version, Sitharaman said. The coffee flavoured stamp will be priced at ₹100. “There is a lot of interest in Government of India in promotion of coffee. The coffee flavoured stamp is going to induce a lot of people to taste coffee,” she added.

    source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com / Business Line / Home> Markets> Commodities / by The Hindu Bureau / April 21st, 2017

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    Philatelic delight: India Post launches coffee flavored stamps to push the branding of Indian coffee

    Philatelic delight: India Post launches coffee flavored stamps to push the branding of Indian coffee

    Indian Postal department, in collaboration with the Coffee Board, has launched its new coffee scented stamps in order to give a branding push to Indian coffee.

    Telecom minister Manoj Sinha released the stamp in the presence of commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman, which are a collector’s version and are priced at Rs 100.

    Sitharaman, said: “Today is an age of branding, we need to brand everything, we need to sell everything, we need to have high profile marketing for everything to even reach the lower end of the pyramid.”

    She further added, “promotion of Coffee, branding of different coffee should go with a lot more hype. There is a lot of creativity we need to (put) into taking coffee further.

    Noting that countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar have done, and are doing, a lot of things in packaging, value addition, presenting and marketing of the coffee, she said: “the Coffee Board obviously is now going to have to be on its toes.”

    Stamp lovers were quite happy with the news as this innovative campaign trended on Twitter as #CoffeeFlavouredStamp. Also, many retweeted and congratulated the coffee board and Nirmala Sitharaman for their efforts.

    source: http://www.thedrum.com / The Drum / Home> News / by Taruka Srivastav / April 23rd, 2017

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    April 9th, 2017adminCoffee News
    Phanbem Kithan, a coffee farmer from Wokha village, collects ripe coffee beans at his farm.

    Phanbem Kithan, a coffee farmer from Wokha village, collects ripe coffee beans at his farm.

    Kohima (EMN):

    55-year-old Phanbem Kithan, a progressive farmer from Wokha village, in Wokha district, has been growing coffee for the past 15 years. He tried his hands at coffee plantation in 2002. Since then, he has devoted his life to growing the crop. The harvest from his crops has been increasing with each passing year.

    The coffee kiosk set up by the Land Resources department at the Hornbill Festival in 2016 at Kisama, and one which was the main attraction of locals and tourists alike, was supplied by Kithan.

    The farmer credits his success to the Coffee Board of India (CBI) which he said has been with him at every step of his journey in growing coffee. The journey had not been easy in the initial period of his venture. However, the logistic support and assistance rendered by the CBI has enabled him to extend his plantation every year.

    Today, in an area of 6.5 hectares, Kithan has 30,000 coffee plants of Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee. He said to be expecting a harvest of 1, 000 kilograms of coffee this year; it will generate an income of possibly Rs. 1, 60, 000.

    Kithan has undergone about 14 training events in various parts of India. He also won the ‘Best Nursery Maintenance’ award of the Coffee Board of India for 2014-2015; he was awarded with a certificate and a cash prize of Rs 20,000.

    The CBI, he said, is highly appreciative of the coffee from Wokha as the ‘best quality and organic’ although some improvements are still required to improving the colour of the coffee. He said also that there was no problem in marketing–the produce is sent directly to the coffee board.

    To encourage farmers to take up coffee plantation, Kithan has set up a nursery, since 2009, with the assistance from the CBI for maintenance. Saplings are distributed to interested farmers after inspection and after ‘analyzing’ their ‘dedication,’ he said.

    Offering advice from his expertise, Kithan said that a good and healthy sapling with at least 5-12 leaves can last for about 100 years, which should begin from the nursery itself. He expressed confidence that Wokha would be covered by coffee plantations in a few years time, and that the district would be able to yield 2-3 truckloads of coffee every year.

    Stating that there was no loss in growing coffee, Kithan hoped that the state of Nagaland would take up the crop. The land is blessed with highly favourable climatic conditions and the soil type is suited for production of coffee.

    With the expertise that he has gained over the years, Phanbem Kithan is more than willing to assist and share his knowledge with anyone who is interested in taking up coffee plantation.

    It was informed that the department of Land Resources had distributed 13.40 lakh coffee seedlings to farmers covering an area of 670 hectares. Coffee plantation in the state has been developed by the department in collaboration with the CBI. 920 hectares have been developed spreading over the eleven districts of the state.

    The department has also prepared a five-year plan for development of coffee in Nagaland covering an area of 5000 hectares across the state by 2019-2020; 10,000 households have been identified for this plan and will be implemented in convergence with the board.

    According to the plan, the land to be used for coffee plantation is 917 hectares during 2016-2017; 1190 hectares during 2017-2018; 1710 hectares during 2018-2019; 953 hectares during 2019-2020.

    Taking advantage of tree species, including plantation crops developed through watershed programmes, coffee being a shade-loving crop has shown easy acceptance by the rural community as either main or subsidiary crop.

    Unlike decades ago when farmers stopped coffee plantation due to lack of marketing avenues, it is hoped that the department working on marketing strategies will encourage more farmers to grow coffee. Another prospect is that Nagaland would emerge to produce quality organic coffee for export and local consumption.

    During a visit to the state in 2016, Dr Pieter Vermuelen, a coffee expert from South Africa, commented that Nagaland had the potential to developing a sustainable economy through exporting coffee.

    source: http://www.easternmirrornagaland.com / Eastern Mirror / Home> Top News> Current Article / by Akono Tsukru / April 04th, 2017

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