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Indian Economy

Five Coffee Varieties Got GI Tag

  • 30 Mar 2019
  • 5 min read

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has recently awarded GI tag to five varieties of Indian coffee.

  • The five varieties include
    • Coorg Arabica coffee, grown specifically in the region of Kodagu district in Karnataka.
    • Wayanad Robusta coffee, grown specifically in the region of Wayanad district which is situated on the eastern portion of Kerala.
    • Chikmagalur Arabica coffee, grown specifically in the region of Chikmagalur district which is situated in the Deccan plateau, falling under the Malnad region of Karnataka.
    • Araku Valley Arabica coffee, can be described as coffee from the hilly tracks of Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha region grown at an elevation of 900-1100m Mean Sea Level (MSL). This variety is produced by the tribals, who follow an organic approach in which they emphasise management practices involving substantial use of organic manures, green manuring and organic pest management practices.
    • Bababudangiris Arabica coffee, grown specifically in the birthplace of coffee in India. The region is situated in the central portion of Chikmagalur district. Selectively hand-picked and processed by natural fermentation, the coffee cup exhibits acidity, mild flavour and striking aroma with a note of chocolate. This coffee is also called ‘high grown coffee’ as it slowly ripens in the mild climate thereby acquiring a special taste and aroma.
  • The GI tag will help in enhancing the visibility of Indian coffee in the world and will also allow growers to get maximum price for their premium coffee.
  • In the year 2018, The Coffee Board had filed the application for the GI Tag for these five varieties.
  • Earlier, the Monsooned Malabar Robusta Coffee, a unique specialty coffee of India was given GI certification.

Coffee Stats

  • In India, coffee is cultivated in about 4.54 lakh hectares by 3.66 lakh coffee farmers of which 98% are small farmers.
  • The cultivation is mainly done in the Southern States of India:
    • Karnataka – 54%
    • Kerala – 19%
    • Tamil Nadu – 8%
  • It is also grown in non-traditional areas like Andhra Pradesh and Odisha (17.2%) and North East States (1.8%).
  • India is the only country in the world where the entire coffee cultivation is grown under shade, hand-picked and sun dried.
  • India produces some of the best coffee in the world, grown by tribal farmers in the Western and Eastern Ghats,which are the two major biodiversity hotspots in the world.
  • Indian coffee is highly valued in the world market and is sold as premium coffee in Europe.

Two main varieties of coffee - grown in India

  • Arabica
    • This variety of coffee has a delicate flavour and balanced aroma coupled with a sharp and sweet taste.
    • Arabicas are harvested between November to January, and are typically grown on higher altitudes ranging from 600 to 2000 metres in cool, moisture-rich and subtropical weather conditions.
    • It has about half the amount of caffeine compared to Robustas.
  • Robusta
    • It has a very strong taste, a grainy essence and an aftertaste somewhat similar to that of peanuts.
    • It is harvested from December to February and and is grown in hot and humid climate with temperature ranging from 20 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius.
    • It has twice the level of caffeine compared to Arabica.

The Coffee Board of India

  • It is a statutory organization that was constituted under Section (4) of the Coffee Act, 1942.
  • It functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
  • The Board comprises 33 Members including the Chairperson, who is the Chief Executive and it functions from Bangalore.
  • The Board mainly focuses its activities in the areas of research, extension, development, market intelligence, external & internal promotion for coffee.
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