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Indian coffee growers want remedial measures.

Indian coffee growers want remedial measures

According to United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI), the apex body of the planters in South India, the small planters face the danger of running into the red if appropriate remedial measures are not initiated with a sense of urgency. The chairman of UPASI, R.K. Krishna Kumar, has stated that the Indian coffee industry is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis affecting 120,000 growers in the Southern states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The collapse of world prices of the commodity consequent to the suspension of export quotas under the International Coffee Agreement and stagnant domestic prices influenced by the Government of India's delay in enhancing the minimum release price, have contributed to this crisis. UPASI cited factors such as low production, discriminative taxation and growing indebtedness and financial distress among small coffee growers as being responsible for the crisis. About 60 percent of India's output was exported to 36 overseas markets and the coffee shipments had been governed by the ICA with an export quota for member countries including India.

B. Sivaram, UPASI secretary, pointed out that while the prices of all commodities had increased since the 70's, the price index of coffee was about 41 percent lower than all other commodities in India.

According to present estimates Indian coffee production during the 1989-90 season is expected to be of the order of 130,000 tons as against the Indian Coffee Board's earlier estimate of 150,000 tons. Another disquieting feature was the relatively stagnant level of domestic consumption at around 56,000 tons per annum.
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Title Annotation:weak market contributes to small growers financial woes
Author:Dudeja, V.
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:May 1, 1990
Words:268
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