- The traditional coffee farmers of Anchunad at Marayur in Kerala’s Idukki are reaping the benefits of organic farming, with a kg of berry (coffee fruit) fetching over ₹50 this year.
- Tribespeople and other farmers traditionally follow organic coffee farming in the Anchunad valley. Coffee is mainly cultivated at Kanthalloor, Keezhanthoor, Kulachivayal, and Vettukad and marketed as Keezhanthoor coffee.
- Kumaravel, a farmer who owns two acres of coffee at Keezhanthoor, says there are around 200 traditional coffee farmers at Keezhanthoor. Keezhanthoor coffee, an Arabica variety, is famous for its taste and aroma. This year, farmers received better income from coffee, he says.
- “The Manarcadu Social Service Society and other vendors are ready to buy coffee fruit. Last year, the price of coffee fruit was ₹25 to ₹35 a kg and this year farmers got ₹50 for a kg,” says Mr. Kumaravel.
- The Manarcadu Social Service Society, a group based in Kottayam, largely procures coffee beans from farmers for export. Its chief executive officer Sreekumar M.S. says this year the society procured around 50 tonnes of coffee from Keezhanthoor.
- “Farmers do not use pesticides and chemicals for coffee farming. The collected coffee berry is processed and exported to the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany besides other nations. This year, we paid a maximum of ₹50 for a kg of beans to farmers,” says Mr. Sreekumar.
- “A farmers’ society under us is functioning at Keezhanthoor for ensuring organic farming and procuring beans. We are trying to develop Keezhanthoor coffee as a special brand,” he says.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB