In partnership with global professional services firm Ernst & Young (E&Y), state-run Coffee Board on Monday unveiled a road map to improve the performance of the coffee plantation commodity sector.
"The road map is to develop a strategy for improving the performance across the value chain, from production to consumption and ensuring need-based interventions to strengthen small growers," said Board Chief Executive Srivatsa Krishna, marking the "International Coffee Day".
Taking a leaf out of the slogan "Chai pe Charcha" -- discussion over a cup of tea, the Board has coined "Naya Bharat: Coffee Par Socha" (coffee for thinking) in New India.
"We have recently launched an app 'Coffee Connect' for delivery of extension services by its personnel and tracking the outcomes," recalled Krishna.
In collaboration with Precision Agriculture for Development India Foundation, the Board also unveiled a pilot "Coffee Krishi Taranga", an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS)-based mobile extension service to maximise the reach.
"In association with EKA Analytics, the Board has developed a slew of applications (apps) for pest identification, hyper local weather forecast, pest (white-stem borer) identification, leaf rust disease forecast and block chain-based market place for pilot testing," pointed out Krishna.
The Indian coffee industry has made rapid strides and earned an identity in the coffee map of the world for its beans grown under a canopy of thick natural shade in the rich bio-diverse sensitive Western and Eastern Ghats.
Recalling the saga of the Indian coffee which began in 1600 AD with the legendary saint Baba Budan in the courtyard of his hermitage in Karnataka's Chikkamagaluru, Krishna said the commercial plantation started in the 18th century by British entrepreneurs in the Malnad region of the southern state.
"Coffee contributes to sustain the bio-diversity of the region and is responsible for the socio-economic development in the remote, hilly areas," he added.
Atal Innovation Mission Director R. Ramanan, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy's Rathin Roy, E&Y partner Vatsyayan, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan and Karnataka Chief Secretary T.M. Bhaskar were present at the event.