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Crop Management

Organic Coffee in India

Organic coffee means a coffee grown under holistic agricultural production management system that includes on-farm composting of farm resources, mulching, shade regulation and eco-friendly pest and disease control measures. It completely excludes the use of agro-chemicals with an aim of preserving the environment and to obtain residue free product. However, in order to provide authenticity to the product as organic, it has to be certified by an accredited certification agency.

Scope for organic coffee production in India:

There is a lot of scope for production of organic coffee in India, due to natural advantages existing in the cultivation of coffee, which are as follows:

Coffee is mainly grown in deep fertile jungle soil under well-defined mixed shade consisting leguminous and non-leguminous trees.

Majority of the coffee holdings are dominated by small and tribal growers with low or zero inputs or synthetic inputs with sustainable yields, which are ideally suited for conversion to organic farming without any serious setbacks in yields

Majority of small and tribal holdings are following traditional farming practices such as cattle manure, composting, manual weeding, recycling of organic wastes, which are prerequisites for organic coffee production. Coffee in principle is mainly grown under high degree of mixed cropping under shade with sustainable income.

Role of Coffee Board in Promotion of Organic Coffee Production

Coffee Board, initiated steps to promote organic coffee production in the country by implementing a Project “Promotion of Organic Coffee Production in India” during the IX plan period (1997-2002) with the objectives of standardizing package of practices for production of organic coffee, to create awareness among the growers by organizing trainings/workshops/seminars/education campaign and to identify the potential zones for production of organic coffee in coffee growing regions of India.

Based on the outcome of the surveys and case studies, it was felt necessary to extend certain incentives besides the technical support in order to promote organic coffee production. Hence, the project was extended in X plan period (2002-07). Initially Board decided to extend developmental assistance by providing financial assistance towards cost of inspection & certification of organic coffee estates. As a result to grant incentives towards the cost of certification to organic coffee growers, modalities and norms were drawn. Further, database on organic coffee area, production and the number of holdings practicing organic coffee production in different growing regions is made available.

Incentives Scheme for Organic Coffee Growers

Coffee Board is providing financial assistance (grant) to organic coffee growers towards the cost of Inspection & Certification of organic coffee. The eligibility norms for providing financial assistance are as follows.

The growers / growers association / SHG’s have to produce organic coffee as per the National Standards of Organic Production (NSOP).

The coffee has to be certified by an accredited Inspection & Certification Agency recognized under National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). Visit www.apeda.gov.in for the list of inspection & certification agencies.

In the case of self help groups, growers associations, cooperatives and NGO’s they should have been registered under Co-operative Societies Act or Societies Registration Act of their respective state. The financial assistance towards Inspection & Certification cost will be released only after evaluation of application by Coffee Board.

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