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Commodity Tips, Coffee growers want MSP to tide over price crisis

Hit by low prices and faced with a poor crop this year, coffee growers want the Government to consider a minimum support price (MSP) or a price compensation scheme for the commodity to alleviate their distress.

Prices Slide
Farmgate price of robusta cherry, which hovered around ₹3,700 per 50-kg bag last year is now at ₹3,000 levels — about 19 percent lower. Similarly, the prices of Arabica parchment, which ruled at ₹9,900 levels per 50-kg bag last year are now at around ₹7,300 levels.
“We urge the Centre to look at an MSP or a support price scheme for coffee to help rescue the growers,” said BS Jairam, President, Karnataka Growers Federation, a body of coffee producers.
Lower output is seen
Representatives of the beleaguered plantation sector are expected to meet the Commerce Minister and officials on Thursday in New Delhi to present their case.
In addition to the low prices, the output — mainly that of robusta — has turned out to be lower than initial expectations in Karnataka, which accounts for around 70 percent of India’s coffee output.
Rising rupee
Besides the volatile global prices, a stronger rupee has also added to the pressure on prices here, said Vishwanath KK, a KGF official, and planter.
Bose Mandanna, a planter in Coorg, said a price compensation mechanism would be beneficial for the growers and help them come out of the crisis. Commodities such as coffee are kept out of the MSP purview mainly because they are considered a cash crop and are largely exported.
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