TODAY -

Prospects of coffee in Manipur

Miranda Sanjenbam *

Coffee berry, Bali, Indonesia
Coffee berry, Bali, Indonesia :: Pix Courtesy - Wikipedia/Jmhullot



Coffee in India is one of the major commercial crops contributing in the export sector of market in the international aspect. India stands fifth in the ranking of coffee production worldwide. In this acquirement of such a good position in the global scenario, the north-eastern region of India holds very minute position in the contribution of coffee production in India even though coffee is a well known crop to every individuals of the region.

It has its history of introduction in the early 80s as an alternative solution to fight Jhum cultivation prevailing in the region as a customary practice. North-eastern region being a neglected part of the country in many attributes has enormous natural resources and great biodiversity. And the information found in the records of Coffee Board of India, it is quite evident that the crop is very much suitable with the climatic conditions prevailing in the region.

The organizational set up of the Coffee Board is rendering all the possible aids and technologies in establishing a well versed coffee plantation in almost all the areas of the region. Keeping in view the difficult livelihood challenges faced by the people of these regions, the Board is working on to reach every nook and corner to expand coffee plantation.

As coffee is a perennial crop, it requires at least 3-4 years in bearing fruits, with a lifespan of 60-70 years once the crop is planted in the field. Timely management and other cultural practices are of course required for maximum bearing and tolerance to the pest infestation. Two species of coffee are generally adopted for plantation depending on the altitude of the sites, i.e. Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora.

Arabica coffee is suitable for higher altitude ranging from 1000 m-1500 m above sea level and Robusta coffee for lower altitude between 500-1000 m. To retain the authenticity of the variety, it is highly advisable to the growers that they acquire the seed coffee for plantation from the Coffee Board of India, even though the seedlings are available in several commercial nurseries.

Coming to the perspectives of Manipur, it was learnt that coffee already existed in the state when it was brought for plantation by Manipur Plantation Crops and Corporation Ltd. and other related NGOs earlier. Unfortunately, the products of these plants were unable to convert in to the expected revenue due to the communication gap between the Board and the growers and that it was never brought into limelight about the existence of coffee in the region.

While taking up a case study in the matter, it was found out that since they could never find a proper market for coffee in the state, they had to abandon it with heavy hearts.

In spite of all these disappointments, Coffee Board of India stayed connected with the state and few planters through an extension centre in Churachandpur. The database present in Coffee Board showed an approximate figure of planted area of 240 ha under Arabica and 7 ha under robusta.

The Board in collaboration with MOBC , MOBEDS organized a consultative workshop in the month of September, 2017 to know the problems faced by the early planters and what alternate means they had to take up to combat the losses. And it was positively learnt about the potentials of coffee in different sector. Ever since then, MOBC and the Board are working together in developing and promoting coffee in the state in every possible means.

The recent adoption of coffee plantation in the golden triangle of Myanmar replacing Poppy plantation is one good step closer to a secured future. Considering about the BCIM corridor in the pipeline, it is high time for Manipur to give a proper thought on trade and commerce and the consequent opportunities which need to be grabbed at the right time.

In an article published in ‘The Statesman’ written by Rangan Datta entitled possible Game Changer he clearly mentioned the benefits, north-eastern states will be getting and also country as a whole. He talked about the feasible multi-modal transport system and trilateral Thailand, Myanmar and India railway projects by linking Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland to establish trade and industry hubs all the way to Mandalay from Manipur and to Sittwee port and Yangon. Keeping these in mind, it would always be wise to be the first one to initiate something which will hold a firm place in the coming future and make the best out of it.

Other North-eastern states of India namely Nagaland, Meghalaya are already in the mission to make it big in the global scenario in terms of plantation and production. Smoky falls coffee of Shillong reaching the International coffee festival is indeed one of the greatest achievements of coffee in north-eastern region.

Also the coffee of Nagaland is exported to South Africa making the transactions very much instant which lures the interest of the planters easily. These foreign traders came to know about coffee in Nagaland mainly through Hornbill festival when it was first showcased by the Land resource Department of Nagaland.

So, in Manipur, where there are multiple international and national level festivals observed every year such as Sangai festival, Shirui festival, Cherry blossom festival etc., what is stopping the planting community of Manipur in bringing out the crop in the forefront?

If we give a thought on the processing and consumption, almost all the trending restaurants and café in every nook and corner of Manipur has a vending machine supplied by Café coffee Day through various dealers. So, there is no doubt in concluding that coffee is widely consumed in the state by every section of individual.

Green coffee is one processed product which has very high demand in the market now because of its various health benefits such as in weight loss, lowering blood sugar, high level of antioxidants etc. Also it acts as an important ingredient in bakery industry with its unique flavor resembling chocolate. With all such characters inherited in the coffee beans, there is no doubt in stating that Coffee indeed is a wonder crop and holds a very bright future in developing an economically backward state like Manipur.

The creation of international business hub, reconciliation of the environmental problems, enhancement of standard of living, provision of self-employment in the plantation sector etc are some of the wonders coffee plantation can bring in this state.

The main concerns of the humankind in the present era are climate change, sustainability and food security. Survival is not going to be that easy in the future ahead without keeping all these constraints at check. We all are well aware of the main factors causing such a drastic change in the environment. Deforestation is the root cause for so many natural calamities worldwide.

In Manipur context, the inhabitants cut down trees especially in hilly region for practicing Jhum cultivation for maintaining livelihood. When question comes for survival, nobody has the right to stop the hilly people from cutting down the trees for farming purposes, which is the sole source of income and also for livelihood. Only when there is an alternative to such problems, people will stop degrading the environment as such.

In the recent visits of Coffee Board for survey and inspection in some interior villages of Manipur, it was found out that there are certain villages which have no electricity (except on Christmas), no proper roads, no proper communication facilities, almost cut out from the emerging trends of the world. And in such state of lives, how can the concerned authority enforce something and tell them not to practice Jhum, which is the only source of livelihood for them?

Coffee is a shade loving plant generally grown under shade trees in Indian condition unlike those in Brazil, Guatemala, Uganda, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Coffee can therefore be considered as one of the few preventive measures to combat the alarming condition of deforestation carrying out in the region.

Another great characteristic of this plant is that it can be grown with any kind of crops, be it seasonal crops, spices, horticultural crops etc. With these practices, there is no need for the planter to worry about not getting revenue from coffee until it bears fruit. There are so many success stories of multiple or integrated cropping system of the planters in the traditional area of coffee such as Karnataka, Coorg, Kerala. One just needs to be a little committed, determined and patient while planting coffee, nothing more.

So, here lies the choice we can make about our future in terms of production, processing, consumption and marketing of coffee plants. All these challenges are likely to be sorted easily with the up-coming and on-going activities of coffee plantation in the state.

With the changing climatic conditions and the alarming natural calamities faced almost in regular intervals, it would be a wise step to start thinking about the remedies and preventive measures permanently and not extending relief measures after the disasters already struck us. Also when the opportunity of creating an international hub of coffee with the agendas made for the BCIM corridor at higher authority level, no other choices stand a chance against embracing it.

And as the traditional blessing in South India goes “May you live for a hundred years like davara-tumbler of coffee” may the people of Manipur get enlightenment of the consistency and diverse wonder a coffee plant can do to the nature.


* Miranda Sanjenbam wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer is Extension Inspector for Coffee Board of India
This article was webcasted on July 29 , 2018.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Nongpok Thong Hangba
  • Khubak Eeshei @Kang festival : Gallery
  • Punsi Sangba, Mathiupuang :: eMing
  • Arresting decline of higher education
  • RPL-PMKVY Certificate at Tripura
  • Silence :: Poem
  • AFSPA took my father
  • Dark Net: Underbelly of the internet
  • Alternative Arrangement, Article 371A
  • Petition challenging dilution AFSPA
  • Rio for integration of Naga areas
  • Brought NE closer to Delhi: PM
  • Independence Day celebrated in NE
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #1
  • Compressed Earth Blocks: Housing
  • Support breastfeeding among adolescent
  • Ithai: Development Decision Gone Awry
  • Who made the sports university ours?
  • An Unoccupied Forehead :: Poem
  • 'NRC should not be a political issue'
  • Independence Day : Govt needs trust
  • Apprehensions before final pact
  • NNC stand to protect Naga sovereignty
  • 'Delay in solution irks people'
  • Patriots' Day- Floral Tribute : Gallery
  • A shot at survival
  • Demography and Population Studies
  • RPL-PMKVY Certificate at Baishalgarh
  • E-Commerce to help access new markets
  • Manipur Heart Foundation Anniversary
  • Artist lineup for NH7 Weekender
  • Kakching World War-II Memorial Run
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • AMPWA observed Patriots' Day
  • Real homage or just showmanship
  • Drama of political clout at MU
  • Patriots' Day @ Kolkata : Gallery
  • Historical War fought by Manipur
  • Where are the nurses in HIV response?
  • Understanding false smut of rice
  • The love song of autumn :: Poem
  • Help Underprivileged Sports Youngsters
  • Police : List of Awardees on I-Day
  • NSCN-IM word on Naga unity
  • Scribes demand colleague's release
  • Jadugi Mingsel :: Folk Tale
  • Patriotism Redefined [On 13th Aug]
  • Karate Winners felicitated at Kumbi
  • Of Citizenship & Manipur People's Bill
  • Seminar : Path & Pattern in Northeast
  • 42nd Indian Social Science Congress
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Certificate Distribution at Tripura
  • Failure by WPS-IE to arrest rapist
  • Resolutions : People's Democratic Alliance
  • ..Will it burnt the state again
  • ..Now get the killers !
  • 'Homecoming', Painting Exhibition : Gallery
  • Legacy of Resistance in Cordillera Highland
  • Woke Up, But You're Nowhere :: Poem
  • Resurgence of Sanamahism
  • Nagas & Meiteis must live together
  • No change in 1951 as Base Year : JCILPS
  • B. Voc. at DM Community College
  • Young Scholars Conference 2018
  • ..legitimacy of remaining to power
  • The precursor of things to come
  • Khangkhui Cave , Ukhrul #4 : Gallery
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #2 : Gallery
  • Reform Manipur's Education System
  • Friendship
  • Cry of a Dying River - 40
  • World's Indigenous Peoples Day
  • Chandigarh students' solidarity with MU
  • MU agitator should withdraw their agitation
  • Repercussion of a prejudice attitude
  • Regulate school vans/buses
  • Disputed Myanmar Border Pillar : Gallery
  • Seven Breaths of Dragon :: Book Rvw
  • Chronological framework of NRC
  • Buttering Najmaji in public
  • JRF Post at Mizoram University
  • Manipur Tourism : Festival Promotion Award
  • The uneasy shift
  • Well co-ordinated rallies across dists
  • Chalwa Village, Kangpokpi #1 : Gallery
  • General strike on article 371 (A) #2 : Gallery
  • Up against the saffron brigade
  • My unsailed ship :: Poem
  • Mathematics and Science Competition
  • General Strike by ATSUM on August 10
  • Drawing Competition at Wapokpi, Bishnupur
  • ADBU delivers course to Indian Railways
  • One man that put Manipur in frying pan
  • Relax MU shut down !
  • Khumang Pokpa Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • Robert Naorem @Blr Fashion Week : Gallery
  • Territorial integrity of Manipur
  • The string :: Poem
  • General Strike by KIM on August 8
  • Robert Naorem at Bangalore Fashion Week
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Dr. Monisha Behal's work in North East
  • Registrations for IIT Techniche workshop
  • PDA on situation in Nagaland
  • The politics of divide: MU
  • Significance of August
  • Mukna Khong Kangjei #3 : Gallery
  • Greater Nagaland or Mini Nagaland? #2
  • Paint Your City : Campaign at Kakching
  • Pemberton line in Kabaw is our boundary
  • Awakening :: Poem
  • Coffee Plantation : In-lieu of Poppy
  • Recalling of AK Pandey by HRD Ministry
  • TSA's reply to KNO/KNA's allegations
  • 21st Manipur Integrity Day : Gallery
  • Konung Kang Chingba #3 : Gallery
  • Ecological, social impact of Ithai Barrage #3
  • Swindling Manipuris in solving Naga issue
  • The Last of the Romantics :: Poem
  • 'Thoughts on MU strategies'
  • Concerned about continued closure of MU
  • Fear factor
  • No takers for 1 month leave
  • View from Shirui Hills #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur as seen by Meiteis, Nagas, & Zo
  • Certificate Distribution at Nirjuli, ArP
  • Contract Jobs available at NIELIT HQs
  • Cry of a Dying River - 39 :: Poem
  • Banana flower vada
  • Entrance for Free Residential IAS Coaching
  • Resolution of NPF Consultative Meeting
  • Concerned about militants' interference
  • Issues : From ILP, MU to FA
  • Emergence Nongda Lairen Pakhangba #2
  • MU Rally at Canchipur : Gallery
  • News Analysis 0f Akashvani Imphal
  • ILP: A Genuine Idea Lost in Translation
  • Tryst with an Alzheimer's patient #2
  • Letter to Prime Minister of India
  • Female DTP faculty reqd at Protocol
  • In between :: Poem
  • Sowing the seeds of Greater Lim
  • General strike on article 371 (A) #1 : Gallery
  • Student is important or AP Pandey
  • Article 371A is sui generis
  • Protection on Land, Environment at TML
  • Press Conference on MU Crisis at Delhi
  • Oppose extension of Article 371(A)
  • DTP-Desktop Publishing course at Nambol
  • Certificate Distribution at Namsai, ArP
  • Rejoinder to KNO/KNA on Moreh attack
  • Issues which burn Manipur State Assembly
  • The brand of politics in MU crisis
  • Central team @ BP 81 , Kwatha #3 : Gallery
  • August Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Protest against MHRD @Delhi : Gallery
  • People's Strike greets this August
  • Slump in fight against #AIDS
  • What does moonlight want ? :: Poem
  • MU students protest against MHRD
  • An Unknown killer - "E-Waste"
  • Talking peace and threatening others
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #1 : Gallery
  • Dismal Politics in Universities
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #1 : Gallery
  • Engulfing Uncertainties
  • Ecological, social impact of Ithai Barrage #2
  • Certificate Distribution at Dibang, ArP
  • EEVFAM case: Report for 30 July
  • Pertaining to statement of T. R. Zeliang
  • Issues plaguing the state
  • What is the stand of BJP Govt ?
  • Monsoon Assembly Session : Gallery
  • Election 2019: end of road for Modi
  • The absurd baby talk :: Poem
  • Assam University BTech, MTech Admission
  • Saving the Rhinos - Campaign
  • Arrest perpetrators of Moreh attack
  • Training programmes of NCC
  • Central team @ BP 81 , Kwatha #2 : Gallery
  • MU: Students clash with Police #2: Gallery
  • Prospects of coffee in Manipur
  • Why ILP should not be implemented
  • Hill students get alert on Trafficking
  • IBSD Meghalaya inaugurated
  • Conference on India-Vietnam
  • Govt's strategically pre planned conflict
  • Heart ruptured but life saved
  • Pseudo intellectuals should stop thinking
  • Mass sit-in protest : How about Nagaland?
  • Folklore genres of Meetei community
  • Kang Khichri chaba : Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram at United Nations, NY
  • Certificate Distribution at Changlang, ArP
  • Out to clear her name
  • CBI failed to comply to SC orders
  • Condemned as a cry in wilderness
  • Security meeting conducted
  • Ripe opportunity for awareness & action
  • Is the NRC of 1951 available ?
  • Central team @ BP 81 , Kwatha #1 : Gallery
  • Our Common Crisis: What are We to Do #3
  • ..Take a break from the common road
  • Skin problems that arise during monsoon
  • Cry of a Dying River - 38 : Poem
  • Meghalaya edition of NH7 Weekender
  • 'Special status' under which provisions ?
  • Issues which need minute deliberations
  • Pay Nareckpi : Funga Wari
  • Kayada Ningthijaba Lambino : Story telling
  • Yumkhaibam Nanao: Walking from Delhi..
  • Ningol Pali at Kang Festival : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Naga American conference at California
  • MU: Students clash with Police #1: Gallery
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba : Gallery
  • ISKCON Kang Chingba festival : Gallery
  • Meira Rally protest of MU VC : Gallery
  • Bandh demanding VC removal #2 : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #3: Gallery
  • Art Exhibit @Imphal Art College #1 : Gallery
  • Kang Khichri chaba @Kwakeithel : Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS