With an aim to bring in better margins, the coffee industry is likely to adopt technology strategies that will boost the sector. India’s coffee sector will get a technology boost with Coffee Board as they propose to introduce a host of initiatives ranging from blockchain to drones soon. Coffee Board Secretary Srivatsa Krishna said the Board has partnered with Eka Analytics to introduce blockchain technologies into the coffee sector covering growers, consumers, exporters and the trade including cafes on a pilot basis.
Besides, the rainfall data gathered for over 100 years and soil info are being used to deliver extension and advisory services to the growers on demand through a mobile app. Krishna was present at the inaugural event of 7th edition of the India International Coffee Festival (IICF). The Board also proposes to introduce the model of Precision Agriculture Development, developed by Harvard professors Michael Kremer and Shawn Cole to the coffee sector in the country and deploy drones for crop estimation. Krishna urged the growers to come together to promote coffee. He further said that the Board has applied for a GI tag for four coffee varieties, a move that could help position better and fetch premiums.
IICF – a four-day event organised by the India Coffee Trust and Coffee Board is seems to be a pioneer to the International Coffee Organisation’s World Coffee Congress which India will be hosting for the first time in 2020 in Bengaluru.
India is the sixth largest producer of coffee and about 70 per cent of the country’s produce is exported to Europe and Russia among others. Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, who attended the inauguration ceremony of the festival, said the domestic market provided a big opportunity for the coffee fraternity to boost consumption.
Executive Director-Refreshments, at Hindustan Unilever Ltd Sudhir Sitapati stressed upon the need for parity in GST between tea and coffee. While the leaf tea attracts a GST of 5 per cent, on instant coffee it is pegged at 18 per cent.
President, India Coffee Trust, Anil Kumar Bhandari said main objective of the festival this year is to capture the changes that are taking place in the coffee sector and to discuss issues faced by the industry and growers.