Coffee is mainly produced in Karnataka (Coorg and Chikmagalur), Kerala (Kozhikode, Palakkad, and Idukki), and Tamil Nadu (Nilgiri district, Madurai, and Coimbatore). Climatic Conditions for Cultivation of Coffee Plants, Soil needed, Methods, and distribution are discussed below
Main Species of Coffee
Three main species of coffee are grown in India. These are
Coffea robusta: It is grown in areas of lower elevation where Arabica is not usually grown and can survive in even arid conditions. It produces poor-quality coffee.
Coffea liberica: It is a disease-resistant species of coffee that is generally grown on the lowlands. Both Robusta and Liberica are suitable for making ‘instant’ coffee and thus have become popular.
Coffea arabica: It is the finest quality of coffee, but it is prone to diseases. Its main varieties are Chicks, Blue Mountain, and Bourbon Amarillo.
Climatic Conditions for Cultivation of Coffee Plants
- Coffee requires a warm climate with a temperature of 15–28°C. It can neither withstand frost nor high temperature.
- The coffee plant is planted under the shade of trees (such as silver oak and jackfruit) as direct sunlight can damage the crop.
- The coffee plant requires rainfall between 150 and 200 cm. Prolonged drought may severely damage the crop.
Rich, well-drained friable loamy soil is suitable for the growth of coffee plants. Fertilizers are added to make the soil fertile.
Methods of Coffee Cultivation
- Saplings of coffee plants are taken from the nursery and are then transplanted to the field.
- Plants are planted 3 m apart from each other. They are pruned. The height of the coffee plant is maintained at 1.5 to 2.5 m.
- Coffee plants are grown on slopes as stagnant water is harmful to the crop.
- Many trees such as oranges, cardamom, and pepper vines are also planted to generate extra income.
Harvesting: The coffee plant is harvested in the fourth or fifth year. Coffee is picked by hand by removing ripe berries from the stalk.
Processing: The coffee berries are passed through the machine which removes their outer covering. The beans are then fermented by drying under the Sun. After being peeled, the beans are roasted at a temperature of 99°C and are then ground into coffee powder.
Coffee is mainly produced in Karnataka (Coorg and Chikmagalur), Kerala (Kozhikode, Palakkad, and Idukki), and Tamil Nadu (Nilgiri district, Madurai, and Coimbatore).
Also, Read Tea Cultivation in India