Agricultural Sector and Marketing Reforms – eNAM, Model APMC Act, Eco Survey Reco, etc.

Robusta Coffee price touches All-time High


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Robusta, Arabica Variety

Mains level: NA

What is the news?

  • Robusta Coffee farmers in South India are celebrating as their produce fetches an all-time high price.
  • The farmgate price of raw Robusta coffee berries reached ₹172 per kilogram (kg) in the Wayanad market, a significant increase from ₹115 per kg last year.

Coffee Cultivation in India

  • The coffee cultivation in India began with the planting of 7 seeds of coffee during 1600 AD by saint Baba Budan, in the courtyard of his hermitage in Chikmagalur, Karnataka.
  • Commercial plantations of coffee started in the 18th century under British entrepreneurship.
  • Today, India is among the top 10 coffee-producing countries, with about 3% of the global output.

Major Varieties Cultivated

Characteristics Altitude Range Flavor Profile Popular Varieties Regions
Arabica Coffee Known for mild flavor, aromatic profile, and smooth taste. 800 – 1600 meters above sea level Mild, slightly sweeter, softer taste Kents, S.795, Cauvery, Chandragiri Coorg (Karnataka), Wayanad (Kerala), Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu), Chikmagalur (Karnataka)
Robusta Coffee Characterized by strong and bold flavor, higher caffeine content, and somewhat bitter taste. Sea level to about 800 meters Strong, bold, somewhat bitter S.274, CxR hybrids Chikmagalur (Karnataka), Coorg (Karnataka), Wayanad (Kerala), Araku Valley (Andhra Pradesh)
Liberica and Excelsa Less common varieties, with limited plantings in specific regions. Variable Variable Variable Limited plantings; sporadic regions

Agro-climatic conditions needed for Coffee:

  • Indian coffee has a unique position as it is shade-grown and grown at elevations, while other major producing countries grow coffee in flat lands.
  • It is a tropical plant which is also grown in semi-tropical climate.
  • 16° – 28°C temperature, 150-250cm rainfall and well-drained slopes are essential for its growth.
  • Low temperature, frost, dry weather for a long time and harsh sunshine are harmful for its plant.
  • Coffee plants grow better in the laterite soils of Karnataka in India.

Market Dynamics

  • Karnataka is the largest producer accounting for about 70% of the total coffee production in India.
  • It is followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Orissa and the North-eastern areas have a smaller proportion of production.
  • Arabica has high market value than Robusta coffee due to its mild aromatic flavor.
  • The country exports over 70% of its production. According to The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), India is the eighth largest exporter of coffee by volume.
  • Indian coffee exports display a seasonality, with exports peaking from March to June.

Coffee Board of India


  • The Coffee Board of India is an organization managed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and was established in 1942.
  • It is headquartered in Bangalore.
  • The activities of the Board are broadly aimed at:
  1. Enhancement of production, productivity & quality;
  2. Export promotion for achieving higher value returns for Indian Coffee and
  3. Supporting development of Domestic market.
  • Until 1995 the Coffee Board marketed the coffee of a pooled supply.
  • Later, coffee marketing became a private-sector activity due to the economic liberalisation in India.
  • The Board comprises 33 members including the Chairman, who is the Chief Executive and appointed by the Government of India.



2010: Though coffee and tea both are cultivated on hill slopes, there is some difference between them regarding their cultivation. In this context, consider the following statements:

  1. Coffee plant requires a hot and humid climate of tropical areas whereas tea can be cultivated in both tropical and subtropical areas.
  2. Coffee is propagated by seeds but tea is propagated by stem cuttings only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2


Practice MCQ:

With reference to the Coffee Cultivation in India, consider the following statements:

  1. Kerala is the largest producer accounting for about 70% of the total coffee production in India.
  2. Robusta coffee has high market value than Arabica due to its mild aromatic flavor.
  3. Indian coffee exports display a perennial nature.

How many of the given statements is/are correct?

  1. One
  2. Two
  3. Three
  4. None

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