Odisha is eyeing a turnover of Rs five crore this fiscal year from online sales of its recently launched Koraput Coffee.
The beverage is already quite popular, with stocks being replenished by the hour due to brisk sales at the state-owned offline retail store, 'Adisha'.
“E-commerce is a big market in the country, growing 51 per cent year-on-year. We have already started selling Koraput Coffee online on Amazon.in and our own online platform Adisha.in. In parallel, we are expanding our retail outlets across the state. Presently, we have 11 Adisha stores in Odisha and we are also looking to open outlets in Goa, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam”, said Mansi Nimbal, managing director, Tribal Development Cooperative Corporation of Odisha Ltd (TDCCOL).
Koraput Coffee is a unique blend, consisting of 100 per cent Arabica coffee. As opposed to the Robusta variety of the beverage which is acidic, 'Arabica Coffee', growing in the shade of trees, has a host of salutary benefits, inducing people to switch to the latter. The coffee raised in Koraput is also of export quality.
“One importer from Russia has visited our Adisha outlet in Bhubaneswar and has taken samples of the coffee. To start with, we may ship 100 tonnes of Koraput Coffee,” Nimbal said.
TDCCOL has taken special care for packaging of the brand. The packaging material is procured from Gujarat and it consists of a valve which facilitates the buyers to check the aroma without tampering the seal.
The success of Koraput Coffee is prompting farmers from the state's tribal regions to start coffee cultivation in a big way again. Previously, they were disillusioned with coffee plantations, being hamstrung by unremunerative prices and lack of market linkages for the commercial crop.
TDDCOL's latest sourcing arrangement is helping coffee farmers to regain their mojo. Southern states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are famed for their preponderance of coffee plantations. By contrast, in Odisha, coffee is grown in traces.
Koraput boasts of 3,000 hectares of area devoted to coffee crop, of which 1,900 hectares are managed by tribal farmers. TDCCOL plans to source the beans from 200 tribal farmers this year, and reach out to at least 1,000 next year. As many as 1,890 tribal farmers are engaged in coffee growing in Koraput district.
Nimbal said, “We have entered into a buyback arrangement with the tribal growers. Money will be directly credited to the bank accounts of the beneficiary farmers. Besides sales proceeds, profits will also plow back to the farmers, helping them to expand the coverage of coffee growing”.
A processing unit has been installed at Sunabeda, also located in Koraput district and known for housing the facility of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). Green coffee beans procured from the growers are subject to curing and roasting at this unit before they hit the markets. Aided by branding efforts and the buyback arrangement with the farmers, Odisha is expected to contribute 500 tonnes in coffee output this year.