From seed to cup
(By S Ramesh)
MYSURU: The Chamarajanagar district administration has taken steps to set up coffee- and pepper-processing units. It has granted 1acre land at BR Hills in Yelandur taluk for the same.
The decision comes after several Soligas, a tribal community predominantly located in and around BR Hills, enjoyed good business by selling coffee and pepper grown in their land. They sell their produce under brand names Adavi Coffee and Adavi Products.
In 2020-21, the tribals recorded a turnover of Rs 1.56 crore by selling over 75 tonnes of coffee and pepper. Moved by their success, Chamarajanagar DC M R Ravi has announced land to set up these units to encourage the products.
There is a huge demand for organically coffee and black pepper grown in this region at national and international markets, and the produce is sold through the Coffee Board and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED). TRIFED is a national-level cooperative body under the administrative control of ministry of tribal affairs (GoI). They also sell honey, bamboo products and other minor forest products through these organisations.
Over 650 Soliga tribals from region, who own land measuring a few cents to 2-3acre, have been cultivating coffee and black pepper since 2015. They had been selling their products after forming their own body — Bilirangana Hills Soliga Farmers Producers Association.
“Coffee beans fetch Rs 24,000 per quintal. Pepper cultivation has helped many of the tribals enhance their income. Setting up a processing unit and a pulping unit helps tribals process their produce,” said Madegowda, a Soliga tribal activist and one of the founders of BR Hills Soliga Coffee Producers’ Association.
Chamarajanagar district tribal officer Honnegowda told TOI that the Chamarjanagar DC has directed Yelandur tahsildar and Maharshi Valmiki Tribal Development Corporation to identify 1acre land at BR Hills to set up coffee processing, pulping and curing unit. The direction follows after the tribals had a business turnover of Rs 1.56 crore in the last fiscal year. Land survey process is on at BR Hills.
The DC has also given instructions to expedite the process to provide 5acre land to set up Food Park to TRIFED near Chamarajanagar. The DC has asked the department to popularise ‘Adavi Coffee’ and pepper brands at tourist places like Bandipur, BR Hills, MM Hills, waterfalls and other places, he added.
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