Karnataka would promote its scenic coffee-growing districts in the Malnad region as tourist spots during the India International Coffee Festival in Bengaluru from January 16 to 19, Tourism Minister Priyanka Kharge said on Thursday.
"We hope to leverage the fest to promote Coorg, Chikkamagaluru and Sakleshpur as tourist destinations in view of their scenic landscape, unique culture and cuisine," said Kharge at a preview of the biennial seventh edition of the fest.
The Tourism Department will develop the ecosystem for experimental tourism through coffee trails and homestays.
The coffee districts are located in the rich bio-diverse Western Ghats of the southern state, about 250 km from Bengaluru.
Karnataka is India's largest coffee producing state, contributing to nearly 70 per cent of the total production. Arabica and robusta are the two mostly-grown coffee beans in the region.
"We are supporting start-ups offering unique coffee delivery and consumption platforms through the start-up pavilion at the fest," said Kharge.
The four-day festival is being held by the India Coffee Trust (a non-profit of Indian coffee industry stakeholders) and the Coffee Board of India (of the Commerce and Industry Ministry).
The fest aims to promote the coffees of India to global buyers, while also allowing Indian coffee planters to connect with the international community.
"Technologies like blockchain analytics, artificial intelligence-based disease detection in plantations, bean to cup tracing can play a significant role in the future of coffee industry and we are already looking at these technologies," said Secretary of Coffee Board of India, Srivatsa Krishna, at the event.
With delegates and experts from coffee-producing countries like Brazil, the UK, the US, Columbia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Thailand, the fest would have skill-building workshops on coffee roasting and brewing, a conference on trends of coffee consumption, and an exhibition among other activities.
Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu is expected to inaugurate the fest.