Kozhikode: The survival strategy of coffee farmers of Wayanad, the top coffee-growing region in the state, to steer through export market disruptions owing to Covid-19 has met with initial success with the first consignment of coffee beans collected locally getting exported to the Gulf by farmers’ cooperative Brahmagiri Development Society.
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Five tonnes of graded coffee beans under the Wayanad Coffee brand has been shipped to Kuwait through the Cochin Port. The export foray by the Society has come a month after it started procuring coffee from the farmers.
Also, the society, which has around 13,000 farmers in Wayanad as members, has begun steps for 1,200 farmers in six panchayats to get organic certification to better place the product in the export market.
“We have received a couple of orders, including another export order as well. We are moving ahead with enabling farmers to take organic farming certification and in the first phase, 1,200 will take the certification. This will enable the farmers from Wayanad to get more acceptance in export markets,” said Jubunu K R, manager of BDS coffee division.
The coffee farmers had been hit hard by price crash partly due to drying up of orders from their major export markets following the Covid-19 outbreak.
The society has already set up a roast and ground factory at Kambalakkad that will produce coffee powder, processed green berries, instant coffee, and other products with the aim to double the income of farmers. Also, a coffee-cupping lab has been set up in Wayanad to check the quality of coffee produced by farmers.
Wayanad is an exclusive Robusta coffee-growing region and produces 80% of Kerala’s coffee.
BDS authorities had said once their branded Wayanad Coffee products hit the markets, they aim to procure coffee from farmers for Rs 240 per kg, over the next three years by sharing the profit reaped through coffee powder sales.
As per the Coffee Board of India’s estimates, Wayanad had produced 58,450 tonnes of coffee during 2018-19, all of which is the Robusta variety.