Commercial plantation of coffee started in South India in the late 1820s with the British enterprise and investment. Since then, Indian coffee industry has made rapid strides. During 1940s, the Government had to step in to regulate the industry when it suffered due to low prices caused by the IInd World war and ravages of pests and diseases. Through the Coffee Act enacted in 1942, the Government set up the Coffee Board to regulate and promote the Coffee Industry in India. The Coffee Act deals with constitution of Board, appointment of Chairman & other officers by the Central Government, Registration of Land planted with the Coffee, compulsory pooling of coffee by the growers with the Board, control on sale of coffee & export, licensing of curing establishment, and imposing of penalty for contraventions of the provisions of the Coffee Act. The Board looks after the overall growth and development of the Indian Coffee Industry. Since inception, the Coffee Board had a complete control over the marketing of Indian coffee. After more than five decades of a centralized “pool” marketing system, the Indian Coffee market was fully liberalized by the year 1996. The role of the Board changed from that of a controller to a facilitator. Presently the Board acts as a supporter and promoter. The thrust areas of the Board include research and development, extension, promotion, quality control, market intelligence and market information dissemination. The Board comprises of 33 members including the Chairman, who is the Chief Executive and appointed by the Government of India. The remaining 32 members represent the various interests as given below. The current Board has been constituted on 07.01.2014 for a period of 3 years. The Board has a Central Coffee Research Institute at Balehonnur (Karnataka), 5 (five) regional Coffee Research Stations at Chettalli (Karnataka), Chundale (Kerala), Thandigudi (Tamil Nadu), R.V.Nagar (Andhra Pradesh) and Diphu (Assam). Besides a bio-technology centre at Mysore, it has extension offices in coffee growing regions of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and North Eastern Region. Coffee is traditionally grown in the three south Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu which together contribute nearly 98% of country’s coffee production. Starting from 1970’s, coffee cultivation is also expanding in the non-traditional areas of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha as well as in the seven North East states, with the twin objectives of providing sustainable livelihood to native tribal population and protecting environment by discouraging shifting cultivation by native tribes. Indian coffee is considered as the most eco-friendly crop as it is grown under a canopy of thick natural shade, which greatly helps in protection of environment in ecologically sensitive regions of the Western Ghats region, recognized as one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world. Coffee also contributes significantly towards the socio-economic development in the remote, hilly areas by providing employment opportunities to nearly a million workers directly and indirectly. Coffee is grown in different geographic regions each with distinct climate and growing conditions. India produces both Arabica and Robusta varieties of coffee in the proportion of 32:68. Karnataka produces 72% coffee in India. Arabica and Robusta are grown in an area of about 4.2 lakh ha with an average annual production of about 3.10 lakh tonnes. Besides, India also produces well known specially processed coffees viz., Robusta Kaapi Royale, Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold and Monsooned Malabar. In Karnataka, Coorg, Chikmagalur and Hassan are the major coffee producing districts in that order. Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the other coffee producing states producing 20% and 5.5% of coffee respectively. Coffee is also grown in non-traditional areas like Andhra Pradesh and Odisha as well as in North Eastern states (2%), where the main emphasis is on tribal development and afforestation. India is the sixth largest producer of coffee in the World with a share of around 4% of world production as well as international trade. Indian coffee has primarily been an export oriented commodity and presently about 70% of the annual production is being exported primarily to traditional markets in the European Union with increasing visibility in high value markets viz., USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand fetching a fairly good premium for all our coffees. Indian Arabicas earn premiums under ‘Other Milds’ category and the Indian Robustas are rated as the best in the world. Over the last few years there is an increase in domestic coffee consumption at an attractive growth rate of 5-6% per annum. CONTACT: Coffee Board, #1, Dr. B.R.AmbedkarVeedhi, Bangalore - 560 001, Karnataka, India. Phone: +91-80- 22266991 - 994; Fax:+91-80-22255557
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24 Mar 2017)