Today, we will highlight the necessary requirement's in coffee cultivation. The post is consist of necessary information about coffee farming in India such as climate, soil, temperature, coffee varieties etc you will find all these information in 4th section of the post. Whereas, 2nd section contains coffee farming project report that includes coffee farming cost and coffee farming profit per acre. 3rd section is designed for those who want to start coffee cultivation. 4th section contains frequently asked questions regarding coffee farming in India. In bottom of the post you can catch the coffee health benefits.
Coffee cultivation in India
Technically coffee beans are not beans, they are referred as beans due to their resemblance to true beans. Coffee bean is a seed of the coffea plant belonging to the coffea species. The coffee fruit is also called stone fruit and the species is native to Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius and reunion Islands. From the coffee fruit unroasted green seeds are separated and then they are roasted. Coffea is a genus that produces the berries from which coffee is extracted.
Coffee contains caffeine content and is dark in colour and bitter in taste. Coffee powder is slightly acidic in nature. C. arabica and C. robusta are the most common coffee plants that are cultivated in 70 countries. These coffee types are primarily grown in America, Africa, South Asia, Indian subcontinent and Africa. As per 2018 Coffee Bean report Brazil was the Leading producer of coffee beans and produces 35% coffee beans of the world. Coffee is one of the most valuable agricultural products (commodities) exported by developing countries. The coffee market is itself a vast market.
Coffee Plant Information
Coffee is a tropical plant. Production lifespan of Arabica coffee is around 50-60 years, although upto 100 years is possible.
All coffee plants are from the Rubiaceae family. The Rubiaceae are a flowering plant family and commonly known as coffee, madder or bedstraw family. Coffee plants are evergreen shrubs and can easily grow up to 5 metre (15ft) tall. The leaves of the coffee plant are dark green and glossy in colour and they are 10-15 cm long and 6 cm wide. The coffee plant contains opposite leaves. Coffee plant consists of white and pink flowers with a decent fragrance. The white flowers are highly scented and coffee fruit takes about 9 months to ripen. Plant contains oval berries of about 1.5 cm in the beginning they are green, which means they are immature later they ripen to yellow then crimson before turning black on drying. Generally each berry contains two seeds but 5-10 % of the berries have only one; these are called peaberries (peaberry). The root of the coffee plant is 2 to 2.5 m deep.
Coffee is a tropical plant that grows to the height of 3 to 3.5 meter (9.8 - 11.5 ft) tall. Coffee species like higher elevations to grow in a better way, moreover coffee plants can’t tolerate freezing temperatures.
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Coffee Cultivation Project Report
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Coffee farming cost per acre
Cost of 1 coffee plant = Rs 10, Rs 15 (while purchasing in bulk - 1000 plants )
Plant material cost -
If 1000 plants are planted in 1 acre land then
1000 plants x Rs 15 = Rs 15,000
Cost of sprinkler system for 1 acre in India - Rs 20,000
Irrigation cost for 1 year - Rs 25,000
Labour cost (including land preparation) - 35000
Labour for planting shade trees - Rs 5500
Shade tree material cost - Rs 5000
Farm fencing cost - Rs 45,000
Fertilizer cost - Rs 24,700
Miscellaneous cost Rs 7,500
Total cost = Rs 182700
Now, lets quickly calculate coffee profit per acre
Coffee farming profit per acre
1 kg coffee beans price in India is Rs 520, Rs 550 and more (depends on current market)
Yield of beans per acre is around 1100 - 1500 kg
If the yield is 1400 kg
And the current price is Rs 520 per kg
Then Rs 520 x 1400 kg = Rs 728000
Net profit = profit - cost
Net profit = Rs 728,000 - Rs 182700
Net Profit = Rs 545300
Note - Coffee tree starts bearing fruits from 3rd year so your profit will begin after 3 years. This is the assumption of the coffee farming project report according to the current market price; it may differ or change later according to the region and market price of that time.
How to start coffee cultivation
To start coffee farming you have to follow the below given steps that includes coffee variety, coffee temperature, fertilizer for coffee, land preparation, pests-diseases and harvesting.
Varieties of coffee
The two main species of coffee that are commercially cultivated are coffea canephora (robusta form) and C. arabica. C arabica species is native to the Southwestern highlands of Ethiopia and the Boma Plateau in Southeastern Sudan and Mount Marsabit in Northern Kenya. Whereas C. canephora is native to western and central Sub Saharan Africa from Guinea to Uganda and Southern Sudan. Some of the less popular species are C. liberica, C. stenophylla, C. mauritiana and C. racemosa.
There are only two main coffee varieties that are commonly cultivated in 70 countries. However, there are over 120 species of coffea, grown from seed but all of them are not cultivated and only 2 varieties are considered for coffee farming and they are explained below.
- Coffee Arabica origin is in Arabia.
- Coffee arabica growing is suitable in rich mineral soil areas.
- Arabica coffee caffeine content is low.
- Arabica coffee bean types are protracted and green bluish in colour.
- The taste of Arabica coffee is sharp and a bit flavoury.
- Arabica subspecies are different in shape, size, colour, climate needs and productivity.
- Arabica coffee varieties are Moka, Mara-gogipe, Bourbon, Colomnaris, San Ramon.
- The Arabica coffee variety constitutes 3 quarters of the total production.
- Tree of coffee arabica can grow fruits after 3 to 5 years.
- Arabica coffee fruits take 9 months to ripen.
- Arabica trees produce coffee for an average of 50 to 60 years or sometimes a hundred years.
Coffea Canephora or Robusta Coffee
- While competing arabica coffee vs robusta coffee, robusta is considered a better variety.
- 600 m is considered as a robusta coffee growing altitude.
- Resistant to pests and diseases is one of the coffea canephora benefits.
- Robusta coffee caffeine content is higher in comparison to coffea arabica caffeine content.
- Congo and Africa are Robusta coffee beans origin places.
- Robusta Beans are small in size
- Robusta beans are brown and yellow in colour.
- This variety contributes only 25 % in total contribution.
Soil required for coffee cultivation
Sand, loam soil are the most suitable soil required for growing coffee. However, coffee plants can easily grow in any kind of fertile soil. For productive coffee cultivation soil property should contain rich organic matter, good water balance and the soil should consist 15 % to 35 % of clay content.
Soil ph for coffee plant
pH range of 5 to 6 is the ideal soil ph for coffee plant growth.
Climate required for coffee plantation
The regions with good spring fall are considered as the most suitable climate for coffee plantation. Natural forest or nearest place to natural forest is the most suitable climate for coffee plantation.
Temperature and rainfall required for coffee cultivation
Temperature required for growing coffee is 12 to 26° C. However, coffee cultivation can be done beyond these temperatures but it might not produce the expected results. High summer temperatures are good for fruit development and ripening whereas cold temperature for a short period is required for flowering, fruit bearing and growth of the plant. Avoid growing coffee plants in extreme cold temperatures. It can damage the growth of the plant. Frost and wind are not suitable for the plants.
Water requirement for coffee plant
1500 mm in a year is required for good coffee plant growth. The coffee yield produces best results in good rainfall areas. Remember, coffee plants are not able to tolerate water shortage so good irrigation is required. Hence, It is advisable to provide sufficient amounts of water to your coffee plants.
Coffee farm irrigation system
Irrigation in a coffee farm is required 2 times in a week in summers and one time in a week in winters. Coffee plant irrigation is one of the most important assets in coffee plantations. You should provide 5 to 10 liters of water per plant (weekly) to your younger plants.
Before coffee plantation light irrigation occurs, in this irrigation around 50 mm is applied and after plantation 25mm of irrigation is applied. Plan your coffee farm irrigation after every 10 days to keep the moisture in the soil but not too wet too much irrigation can cause fungal disease.
Land preparation for coffee planting
It is necessary to process land preparation for coffee production. Ploughing and harrowing are necessary steps in land preparation for farming; it helps in weed control. After ploughing, harrowing and before planting coffee crops, remove all the tiny stones along with weed and land should be free from any type of vegetative materials. Dig the pits after 1-2 ploughing or during 3rd ploughing, the dimensions of the pit should be 50 x 50 x 50 cm. Soil testing is necessary before planting any crop whether it is coffee crop or makhana crop. Soil testing provides you upper hand to select the correct amount of fertilizer and nutrients required for the coffee crop to grow brilliantly.
During ploughing provide proper fertilizer to the soil. One should prepare the seed beds for planting seedlings.
Coffee plant spacing
- Arabica coffee spacing - For arabica coffee plantation recommended spacing is around 2 x 3 m.
- Robusta coffee spacing - Robusta coffee planting distance should be 3 x 3 m.
- Row spacing for coffee crops - 15 to 20 cm.
Manure and fertilizer requirements
It is advised to apply fertilizers after 4 to 8 weeks after planting. Coffee plants demand high nutrient content whereas nitrogen, potassium, boron and zinc are highly needed for coffee cultivation.
Coffee arabica fertilizer - For arabica coffee plant fertilizer is applied two times first time during pre blossom and second time in post blossom.
The ratio of NPK for 3 years and more are given below
- NPK 1st year - 15 : 10 : 15
- NPK 2nd year - 20 : 10 : 20
- NPK 3rd year - 20 : 10 : 20
- NPK 4th year - 30 : 20 : 30
- Above 5 year - 40 : 30 : 40
Robusta coffee fertilizer - Pre blossom application of fertilizer is done in the ratio of NPK 40 : 30 : 40 this applicable for less then one tonne / ha crop.
For 1 tonne / ha and above crop pre blossom application and post blossom application are required in the ratio of NPK 40 : 30 : 40
Pest and disease control of coffee plant
Some common pests that affects coffee plants are
- Leaf miner
- Mealy bug
- Black coffee stem borer
- White stem borer
- Antestia bug
- Twig borer
- Green scale
- Grey coffee snout beetle
- Coffee berry moth
- Variegated coffee bug
These bugs can be controlled by applying the chemical pesticides or through various organic techniques such as spraying neem spray, applying neem cake, pesticide spray made by lassi etc.
disease in coffee plants
- Coffee leaf rust
- Coffee Berry disease
- Tracheomycosis wilt
- American leaf spot
- Root rot
- Armillaria mellea
- Rosellinia bunodes
- Cercospora spot
1 % of Bordeaux mixture is required to spray in the plantation area to get rid of the minor diseases.
Harvesting coffee crop
May to october is the period in which coffee fruit reaches maturity level. You can identify the maturity of the coffee fruits by its colour which turns reddish. Coffee berries get ready for harvesting after 8 to 9 months of flowering.
Coffee harvesting process can be done in 4 different methods
- 1st method - All the flowers, berries, unripe fruits, ripe berries are removed by the hands. This process is called striping.
- 2nd method - in this method only the ripe berries are picked and unripe berries are left for the next harvesting.
- 3rd method - In this method vibrator is used which is fixed with the trunk of the coffee tree and the vibrator shakes the ripe berry and they fall down on the ground then they are picked up from the ground.
- 4th method - this is an extensive labour method, lots of labour is used in this method and they pick ripe berries by hand. Due to lots of labour utilisation this results in high cost harvesting.
Caffeine content in coffee
According to USDA National nutrient database a 240 ml cup of coffee contains 95 mg caffeine and espresso 25 ml contains 53 mg. USDA stands for United States Department of Agriculture.
According to Journal of the American Dietetic Association coffee caffeine content has some parameters that are given below.
Coffee Caffeine Percentage - Table
200 ml (7 US fl oz)
200 ml (7 US fl oz)
According to the report
- Coffee caffeine amount remains stable up to 200° C (392° F) and decomposes around 285° C (545° F).
- Roasting temperature does not exceed 200 degree Celsius for a long period.
- It rarely reaches 285° C.
World Brewers Cup Championship
A World Brewers Cup Championship takes place every year in Melbourne, Australia. In this championship world's coffee king is crowned and honoured. The brewers cup championship includes the following events: Barista Championship, Brewers Cup, Latte Art and Cup Tasters.
Coffee farming in India - FAQ
Where is Coffee mostly grown in India?
Chikmagalur region of Karnataka is well known for coffee production and coffee Export. Moreover, coffee cultivation was first introduced in Chikmagalur. Hence, we can say Chikmagalur is the first region in coffee production in India. Chikmagalur delivers coffee throughout India while talking about coffee exporte the city exports coffee to America, Malaysia, London, Europe, UK, Canada etc. It is said that dada hayat peer kalandar brought 8 seeds of coffee in Chikmagalur and sewed all of them somewhere in the hills of chikmagalur, karnataka and since then the coffee plants have started growing in the region.
Where coffee is grown in India?
In India coffee cultivation is practiced in various regions including
- Tamil Nadu
- Arunachal Pradesh
How much subsidy is Integrated Tribal Development Agency is providing to coffee farmers?
Integrated tribal Development Agency is providing 25% of subsidy to coffee farmers.
Which coffee variety CCRI has developed?
Central coffee Research Institute (CCRI) has developed a new variety of coffee called Chandragiri. Chandragiri coffee plant is more dense than the plants of coffee Kaveri and sanremo coffee plants.
How many coffee plants per acre?
700 to 1000 plants per acre are good enough to maintain density.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Some of the health benefits of drinking coffee are mentioned below please have a look
- Coffee can help you to burn fat.
- Coffee may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Coffee may protect you from Alzheimer disease.
- Coffee may prevent dementia.
- It may lower the risk of Parkinson's
- Coffee is good for liver health.
- Coffee can reduce the risk of hepatitis, fatty liver.
- Coffee works as an anti depression and makes you happier.
- Coffee may lower stroke risk.
- Coffee is a good source of antioxidants.
- Coffee is well known for an instant energy booster.