Rain can affect the quality of Arabica coffee in Karnataka

Arabica coffee growers fear a decline in crop quality as rains in key growing areas of Karnataka are likely to affect the harvest of matured beans. Rains at harvest cause the fruit to split in the plant and cause the bean to drop. “As a result,  split arabica fruits cannot be pulsed and made into parchment, they have to be turned into cherries. This causes loss to farmers”, said Bose Mandanna, a large arabica grower in Suntikoppa, Kodagu.  Arabica parchment coffee is usually almost 40-50 percent more than cherry coffee. “While the continued weather is hurting arabica growers, the rains are good for the robusta variety as it is a form of winter irrigation and also for the upcoming peppers that are in the berry-filling stage”, 

 Relief for farmers    

The main coffee-growing regions of Kodagu, Chikmagalur, and Hassan in Karnataka are rain-fed, accounting for more than 70 percent of the coffee produced in the country. Arabica harvesting began in those areas that had an early flower shower in January. About 30-35 percent of the Arabica is ready for harvest or harvest, Mandanna said. The current rainy season makes it easier for the farmers in the coffee region, whose deficit this year was 30-50 percent. “If the rains continue in the next few days, drying of the coffee will be delayed”, The early Arab rains in January, combined with a prolonged dry spell in the monsoons and lack of adequate rainfall, accelerated the ripening of beans this year. “If the monsoon had been good, the arabica crop would have taken longer to develop and would not have come early”, said Mahesh Shashidhar, president of the Karnataka Planters Association.

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