Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry today flagged off the implementation of the Coffee Debt Relief Package, 2010 by distributing the first batch of certificates to those small coffee growers whose loans have been waived under this package. It is for the first time that the Government of India has come forward with such a sizeable relief package which will directly address the problems of the coffee growers, especially the small growers.
The Government had conveyed the approval for implementation of the Coffee Debt Relief Package 2010 for the debt ridden small coffee growers, with a total financial implication of Rs. 241.33 crore. Announcing this at an interactive meeting with beneficiaries of the Coffee Debt Relief Package in Bangalore here today, Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, informed that, in total 78,665 loanee loan account having accumulated bank loans would be covered under the package of which 74,929 (95%) are small coffee growers who will get the benefit of both waiver and rescheduling of balance amount and the remaining 3736 ( 5%) accounts of medium and large growers will get the benefit of rescheduling of loans. The implementation of the package is under progress.
Addressing the Coffee growers, Shri Sharma informed that, “India occupies around 2% of global area and an average share of 4% of world production and an equal share of its international trade.” Shri Sharma further underlined that the Indian “Coffee Rainfall Insurance is one of its first kinds in the coffee World which offers protection against the weather risk. The rainfall insurance scheme so far covered only deficit blossom / backing showers and heavy rains during the monsoon period. The scheme has now been expanded to cover the losses which occur due to un-seasonal rains during the harvesting period from November to February with a graded pay back depending on the intensity of these un-seasonal rains during the current year 2010-11.” During 2010, for monsoon and post monsoon coverage, a total of 15790 coffee growers were covered with a total premium collection of about Rs. 2 crores, of which 50% would be the Government subsidy component. This is almost three times as compared to 5200 coffee growers covered during the whole of previous year.
On the production front, coffee prospects are encouraging and crop forecast for 2010 -11 is placed at 3,08,000 MT. Coffee consumption is growing in recent years with an annual average growth of about 6% per annum resulting in increase in the consumption from 60,000 MT during the year 2000 to 94,000 MT during 2008 and this is expected to touch about 1,00,000 MT during the current year. Over the past few years, coffee has changed from being a traditional beverage consumed mainly in South India, to a beverage with a national presence, consumed in several forms and retail formats. Between 2003 and 2008, the coffee consumption has grown in the non-South regions at 45% annually while it has grown at 2.5% per annum in the Southern States. The Coffee Board is actively involved in the promotion of beverage in non traditional markets and training to develop entrepreneurs supporting movement up the value chain in roasting, grinding and packaging segments by subsidy support to prospective entrepreneurs and Self Help Groups, collectives etc.
On the Export front on an average 65 % of both Arabica and Robusta coffee in the ratio of 65:35 is exported. During the year 2009-10, a quantity of 2,04,176 MT valued at US $ 442.82 million equivalent to Rs. 2166.90 crores was exported against the target of 2,00,000 MT. During the current year 2010-11, permits were issued for export of 1,40,517 MT as on 8th September 2010 which is around 62% of the target for the whole year. The export volumes are 75% higher compared to corresponding period of last year.