Patchy rains may dent India’s 2023-24 coffee crop prospects

The erratic rains that precede the monsoon season during the months of March and May are likely to affect the rainfall rates in India coffee 2023-24 year crop output starting in October.

The major producing areas of Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru experienced rainfall deficits of 25 percent and 12 percent, respectively, during the period from March 1 to May 25. However, cumulative rainfall over the period increased by 28 percent in Hassan and 5 percent in Wayanad districts, according to IMD data.

“We have a concern because the rainfall is in deficit so far. We were in a worse situation about 15-20 days ago, but now it is getting better,” said KG Jagadeesha, Secretary and CEO of the Coffee Board.

crucial to thrive

With erratic rainfall across several pockets of major producing areas, growers see unfavorable weather as hurting the prospects of Robusta and Arabica varieties. Pre-monsoon rainfall during March and May is crucial for coffee flowering and crop preparation. Farmers in several areas were unable to irrigate their lands due to lack of sufficient water during this summer, which witnessed higher than normal temperatures.

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“Certainly, there will be some impact on crop preparation as the rains initially were not good. We will have to wait a while to estimate the impact,” said Geoffrey Rebelo, president of the United Farmers Association of South India (UPASI). regions due to uneven precipitation.

“Blossom has been bad in many places due to prolonged drought-like conditions resulting in crop failures,” said Mahesh Shashidhar, president of the Karnataka Farmers Association in Chikmagaluru, noting that robusta will be a concern while overall production is likely to be the same as this year.

Hit the fruit settings

Recently, US Department of Agriculture told India Post that rains before the monsoon season are expected to negatively affect yields as fruit growth has been significantly reduced, especially for Arabian. The USDA Post expects arabica production to decline by seven percent as non-year arabica enters the biennial crop production cycle, while robusta yields are expected to decline by 11 percent.

Bose Mandanna, a senior farmer in Suntikoppa, Kodagu, said that this year was one of the rare years when the robusta growing areas did not rain on time. As a result, robusta production is likely to fall by 25-35 percent from rise estimates made in February and March, while Arabica also faced a 10-12 percent damage in Kodagu, the largest coffee-producing region.

Ramesh Raja, head of the Coffee Exporters Association, said blooms were good and in some areas support showers failed. “I don’t see any significant increase in the Arabica crop because of the hot weather in some places,” he said.