22 April 1998
El Niño wreaks havoc on Kenyan agriculture

THE size of the India coffee harvest for the 1997-1998 season is still in dispute.

Most planters are contesting the production estimate of 228,000 tonnes by the Coffee Board, which scaled down its original estimate of 232,000 tonnes after unseasonal rain.

The Planters Association of Karnataka, the southern state which accounts for nearly 70% of Indias coffee production, said the crop would be 210,000-213,000 tonnes.

The Coffee Boards initial pre-blossom crop forecast of 242,000 tonnes, comprising 109,300 tonnes of arabica and 133,100 tonnes of robusta for the 1998-99 season, has also been questioned by growers and trade officials. Planters say the crop will be at least 20% lower than the boards estimate.

  • Financial Times 22/04/98 page 39