Unseasonal rains affect coffee crop in K'taka

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Madikeri, Karnataka, Oct 22 (UNI) The untimely rainfall since last one week in Kodagu district has put the planters in dismay due to loss of crops like coffee and pepper.

It has been raining every day during evenings and night dashing the hopes of planters who dreamt of plucking good crop this season.

The district is the highest producer of coffee in the entire nation.

While the rain dampens the hope of good pepper crop, coffee beans in many areas is dropping. The crop was already damaged due to the differed rain pattern during February and March and the present rainfall is damaging it further.

Arabica coffee had begun to change colour and planters are being forced to pluck the berries before schedule. But they have no place to dry the beans. Again, the rain water does not allow them to dry the beans.

"Beans would be spoiled even as it gets wet. Or you cannot even store them and it begins to rot," a worried planter Chengappa from Murnad told UNI.

A small grower Suresh said that he has sold his coffee bean directly from the plant at Rs 15 to 17 per kg, less than half of the price he would have procured had he sold it to a coffee curing works. This was because he could not dry the crop.

Meanwhile, the untimely rain is also affecting other crops as well as the roads in the district. Officials have become helpless as they cannot take up repair work due to dampness.

"The rainfall is helpful only to those who depend upon Cauvery river for drinking water and harvesting, but not the residents of Kodagu who hardly use Cauvery river which takes birth in the district", a senior citizen Mahadevan commented.

UNI XR RS RKN1218

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