“The Board’s figure is inflated,” says Maneyapanda M Chengappa, chairman, Karnataka Planters Association. Of the country’s production, 72 per cent is from Karnataka.
The Board’s estimate for Karnataka is 251,760 tonnes, from 221,745 tonnes last year. For Kerala, mainly a Robusta producer, at 68,520 tonnes, about 8.3 per cent over the previous year’s final estimate of 63,265 tonnes. In Tamil Nadu, it estimates 19,160 tonnes, from last year’s final estimation of 16,335 tonnes.
And, in the non-traditional areas of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and the northeast, the post-blossom forecast is 10,960 tonnes, from last year's final one of 10,655 tonnes. The higher forecast has come mainly from Andhra.
Chengappa said climate change had resulted in an increase of pest and disease. Arabica yield has reduced over the past decade from 1,200 kg a hectare to 600 kg; of Robusta from 2,000 kg to 1,400 kg.
This year, again, the plantation districts had untimely and decreased rainfall during the crucial months, he said.