Monday, March 24, 2008

Coffee Board breathes easy as morning showers stop

The morning time rainfalls which washed away the pollen grains on the first twenty-four hours of the
blossoming of the Arabica java harvest in Mysore on Saturday did not present an
encore on Lord'S Day and Monday. India’s Coffee Board
chairman GV Krishna Rau, who had on Saturday expressed serious concern if the
blossoms were hit by morning time rainfall on Lord'S Day and Monday, told ET: “Our
anxiety have been alleviated. The blossoming time period is for three days. The damage
has been confined to the first twenty-four hours and we gauge that not more than than 5,000
tonne of the approaching 2008-09 harvest will be lost.” (Harvesting of Arabica
beans gets in November.) Morning rainfalls on the years of
blossoming of the java harvest are dreaded because they rinse away the pollen
grains and pre-empt the procedure of fertilization and fructification into coffee
beans. Mysore turns almost 75% of India’s Arabica crop, accounting for
60,000 metric ton of the country’s 2007-08 Arabica harvest of 82,000 tonne, less
than expected because of a heavy monsoon. Officials were looking at a 2008-09
national Arabica harvest of 1,00,000
tonne. However, there were
heavy morning time rainfalls on the first of the three-day blossoming time period in almost
all Arabica-growing pockets in Mysore and there were anticipations that it
would rain down the adjacent two years also. The lone economy saving grace was that some 30% of
Karnataka’s Arabica harvest had blossomed in February. Which still left 70%
at risk. A one-fourth of the remaining 70% (17.5% of the overall Mysore crop)
blossomed on Saturday. And one-half of the remaining 70% (35% of the overall
Karnataka crop) blossomed on Sunday, and the balance on
Monday. The Coffee Board
chairman added: “The feedback from our men of science and extension-staff is
that there was nightlong rainfall in some pockets which continued on Lord'S Day morning. Fortunately, the rainfalls stopped by 9 am and there was bright sunlight for long
enough for the buds to flower without the pollen grains being washed away. And
Monday morning time was a comparatively rain-free day. There have been no studies of
rain on blossoming years in the Arabica-growing areas of Tamil Nadu. Neither
there have been studies of rainfall on the blossoming years in India’s
Robusta-growing areas, barring Nelliampathy (in Kerala’s Palghat district)
where 1,000 metric ton could be lost. The overall impact for the 2008-09 harvest is far
less serious than initially apprehended, especially for

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