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Chhattisgarh: Farmers in Bastar carve out new identity by planting coffee

Coffee cultivation in Bastar, which started in 2017 on an experimental basis in 20 acres by the horticulture department, has reached the farmers' fields

Bastar | Coffee | Horticulture

R Krishna Das  |  Raipur 

Photo: Unsplash

Farmers in the region are establishing a new identity by cultivating in pockets that have seen Maoist violence in the past while the Chhattisgarh government is working on a plan to showcase the product with international brands.

cultivation in Bastar, which started in 2017 on an experimental basis in 20 acres by the department, has reached the farmers’ fields.

Following the success, the department is training farmers and self-help groups of women in planting and processing, to marketing.

Under the first project, started in 2021, 100 acres is being cultivated by a group of 34 farmers in Dilmili under the Darbha tehsil. The area is a barren farm, on which coffee is being grown for the first time.

Under the second project, 24 farmers are cultivating coffee in 100 acres in a village of the Kandanar panchayat. Interestingly, farmers are growing coffee in forest land.

Under the third project, a rare variety of coffee is being grown in the hills of Mundagarh. The project is being implemented with the support of the District Mineral Foundation Trust (DMFT) Fund and the NITI Aayog.

According to College Senior Scientist K P Singh, the San Ramon variety, which is one of the oldest coffee varieties in India, was planted in Darbha in the early stages. The production of the Arabica and Robusta varieties of coffee also started here in 2018.

At present, the harvesting of the coffee planted in 2018 is going on and it is expected that around 15 quintals will be produced in February this year, Singh said.

He added seeing the success of cultivation in Darbha, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel wanted to bring it to farmers’ fields and that was how coffee was being cultivated in 240 acres in district on the initiative of the state government and district administration.

By 2026, coffee will be cultivated in 5,820 acres.

According to officials, coffee will be produced by farmers, processed by women of self-help groups, and marketed by Café, a state-run coffee shop started in Jagdalpur, the divisional headquarters of Bastar.

The process will help farmers to get the right price of the product because there will be no middlemen in the deal.

Officials said the state government had planned to set up Bastar Cafe in big cities across the country to compete with international brands like CCD and Starbucks.

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First Published: Mon, January 23 2023. 15:11 IST