Coffee procurement by the Girijan Cooperative Corporation (GCC) has increased to 996 tonnes in 2022-23 from 106 tonnes during the previous year. This was achieved, despite a drop in the yield this year, by increasing procurement price, and motivating farmers against selling their produce to middlemen at lower prices.
The hard work by the GCC paid rich dividends and emerged as a win-win situation for both tribal farmers and the GCC by way of better returns and increased procurement. GCC has enhanced the coffee procurement price from ₹270 to ₹285, a kg, for Arabica Parchment Coffee and from ₹135 to ₹145, a kg, for Arabica Cherry Coffee.
“The business achieved through coffee procurement increased from ₹24 crore in 2021-22 to ₹201 crore this year. The middlemen are not only paying less than the market price, but also delaying payments. On the contrary, GCC is directly crediting the money into their bank accounts,” GCC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director G. Suresh Kumar tells The Hindu.
“We require not more than 300 tonnes of coffee beans for coffee production and sales through our outlets and franchisees. The remaining 700 tonnes was sold through e-auction, earning a profit of ₹1.5 crore to the corporation. The processing of the coffee beans is now being done at the ‘processing unit’ of AP Forest Development Corporation (APFDC),” he says.
The GCC plans to set up a modern processing unit on a 5-acre site at Narsipatnam at a cost of ₹4 crore. “The State government had released ₹3.5 crore for setting up of a processing unit, three years ago, but the funds had lapsed as they were not used in time. We have sent a fresh proposal for establishing a processing unit and are optimistic that the government will sanction funds. The unit will have a drying yard and machinery for processing and grinding of the beans,” says Mr. Kumar.
30 retail outlets
The GCC has 30 retail outlets and some franchisees, across the State, through which GCC Araku Valley Coffee, honey, soaps and other products are sold. “I held talks with the MD of Hyderabad Metro for opening of our outlet at metro station at Hitech City to promote Araku Valley Coffee and other products. Based on its success, more outlets will be opened,” he said.
World Coffee Conference
The GCC has been invited to participate in the five-day World Coffee Conference, being organised by the Coffee Board, in Bengaluru from September 25. Coffee-producing countries from across the globe are expected to participate in the conference.