Coffee Act

Ministry of Commerce & Industry 


Centre to Simplify Coffee Act and promote ease of doing business

Simplification of Coffee Act

  • The Coffee Act enacted in 1942 has some regulatory issues.
  • Registration – Any person owning land with coffee plants planted on it, or divided amongst different estates has to apply for registration at the registration officer appointed by State Government.
  • They have to do so within a month of the date when they became owner.
  • Once registered, it can only become invalid if the registering officer cancels it.
  • Punishment for non-compliance to above mentioned procedure is a fine of up to Rs. 1000 and a fine of up to Rs. 500 for each subsequent month.
  • Coffee Board of India is a statutory organization constituted under the Coffee Act, 1942.
  • It functions under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
  • Selling – All saleable coffee has to have been cured at licensed curing establishment or delivered to the buyer through a curing establishment licensed under the Act.
  • It can also be sold in accordance to a license procured from the Coffee Board. Owners can also sell uncured coffee.
  • Every establishment made with the purpose of curing coffee must get a license from the Board for the same.
  • The Act states that Coffee cannot be exported from India by anyone except the Board or with the authorization of the Board.

Issue of Coffee

White Stem Borer: The Minister after understanding the seriousness of the damage caused by White Stem Borer pest in coffee, from the coffee growers and also considering the fact that the Research Wing under Coffee Board has limited resources, assured the growers that a request will be made to Agriculture Department and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to initiate advanced research on Coffee White Stem Borer.

The five varieties Coffee include

  • Coorg Arabica coffee, grown specifically in the region of Kodagu district in Karnataka.
    • Wayanad Robusta coffee, grown specifically in the region of Wayanad district which is situated on the eastern portion of Kerala.
    • Chikmagalur Arabica coffee, grown specifically in the region of Chikmagalur district which is situated in the Deccan plateau, falling under the Malnad region of Karnataka.
    • Araku Valley Arabica coffee, can be described as coffee from the hilly tracks of Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha region grown at an elevation of 900-1100m Mean Sea Level (MSL). This variety is produced by the tribals, who follow an organic approach in which they emphasise management practices involving substantial use of organic manures, green manuring and organic pest management practices.
    • Bababudangiris Arabica coffee, grown specifically in the birthplace of coffee in India. The region is situated in the central portion of Chikmagalur district. Selectively hand-picked and processed by natural fermentation, the coffee cup exhibits acidity, mild flavour and striking aroma with a note of chocolate. This coffee is also called ‘high grown coffee’ as it slowly ripens in the mild climate thereby acquiring a special taste and aroma.
  • The GI tag will help in enhancing the visibility of Indian coffee in the world and will also allow growers to get maximum price for their premium coffee.
  • In the year 2018, The Coffee Board had filed the application for the GI Tag for these five varieties.
  • Earlier, the Monsooned Malabar Robusta Coffee, a unique specialty coffee of India was given GI certification.

Coffee Production in India

  • In India, coffee is cultivated in about 4.54 lakh hectares by 3.66 lakh coffee farmers of which 98% are small farmers.
  • The country accounts for 3.14% (2019-20) of the global coffee production. The coffee production stood at 299,300 million tonnes (MT) during 2019-20.
  • Export of Coffee from India: The total coffee export accounted for US$ 719.50 million from April 2020 to March 2021 and for March 2021 it was US$ 97.41million. In April 2021, export of coffee stood at US$ 71.46 million. Of the total coffee produced in India, 70% is exported and 30% is consumed domestically.
  • The cultivation is mainly done in the Southern States of India:
    • Karnataka – 54%
    • Kerala – 19%
    • Tamil Nadu – 8%
  • It is also grown in non-traditional areas like Andhra Pradesh and Odisha (17.2%) and North East States (1.8%).
  • India is the only country in the world where the entire coffee cultivation is grown under shade, hand-picked and sun dried.
  • India produces some of the best coffee in the world, grown by tribal farmers in the Western and Eastern Ghats,which are the two major biodiversity hotspots in the world.
  • Indian coffee is highly valued in the world market and is sold as premium coffee in Europe.

Two main varieties of coffee – grown in India

  • Arabica
    • This variety of coffee has a delicate flavour and balanced aroma coupled with a sharp and sweet taste.
    • Arabicas are harvested between November to January, and are typically grown on higher altitudes ranging from 600 to 2000 metres in cool, moisture-rich and subtropical weather conditions.
    • It has about half the amount of caffeine compared to Robustas.
  • Robusta
    • It has a very strong taste, a grainy essence and an aftertaste somewhat similar to that of peanuts.
    • It is harvested from December to February and and is grown in hot and humid climate with temperature ranging from 20 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius.
    • It has twice the level of caffeine compared to Arabica.

Source: PIB

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