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Coffee Production To Remain Steady At 3 Lakh Tonnes In The 2011-12 Season

According to the Coffee Board's post-monsoon forecast, India's coffee production is likely to remain steady at 3 lakh tonnes in the 2011-12 season starting October this year. The country is estimated to have produced 2.99 lakh tonnes in the current 2010-11 season (October-September).

In the post-blossom estimate, the board had pegged the output at 3.08 lakh tonnes for the current year. The board will shortly release the post-blossom estimate for the 2011-12 season.

Of the total production, ratio of robusta and arabica is 60-40 per cent. Production of robusta is likely to fall to about 1.8 lakh tonnes in the next season from this year's 2.04 lakh tonnes due to untimely and inadequate rains during March-April and also because of 2011-12 being an off-season. While, Arabica output is likely to increase to 1.2 lakh tonnes in 2011-12 season against 95,000 tonnes this year as next year would be the peak season for the premium bean.

The growers association, too, has estimated robusta crop at around 1.8 lakh tonnes, but differs on the forecast of arabica. Coffee planters are slowly moving away from cultivating the arabica variety of coffee on the back of reducing productivity due to pest and disease attacks. The robusta variety has replaced arabica due to its lower susceptibility to diseases and higher productivity.

As per data available with the Coffee Board, the area under arabica variety has fallen to 48 per cent of the total planted area in 2010-11 from around 73 per cent in 1950-51. Similarly, the area under robusta has increased from 27 per cent of the total cultivated area in 1950-51 to 52 per cent in 2010-11, indicating constant migration from arabica to robusta. Arabica was cultivated in 1.93 lakh hectares, while area under robusta plantations stood at 2.06 lakh hectares in 2010-11, as per the Coffee Board data.

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