Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

Coffee Development Programme in Agency areas of Andhra Pradesh

INVC** In Andhra Pradesh, the scheduled tribes constitute 11.2 per cent of the population and own 3.1 per cent of the cultivable land. There are eleven revenue mandals in the declared agency area of Visakhapatnam district. The Scheduled Tribes in Andhra Pradesh comprise primitive tribal groups of Gadaba, Paraja, Kanda and Kondhu and the progressive and responsive tribe sects of Bhagatha, Valmiki, Koyadora, Konda Kapu, Konda Reddy etc., and the ever migrating and most hardworking Samantha tribes. The Bonda Tribe living in Machkund and adjoining areas on the border of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa are the most primitive and backward among the tribes in these areas living in isolation in remote and inaccessible areas. These tribals are engaged in collection of major forest produce such as Bauhenia leaves, Tamarind, tree bark, Honey and Gum etc. and the same are disposed in the weekly shandies (market places) in exchange for domestic requirements. Some of the tribal groups are also involved in rearing of animals (Cattle, Sheep and Goats etc.). Most of the tribal population still remains economically backward and live below poverty line. The tribal communities were totally dependent on primitive agriculture, practice the pernicious podu/shifting cultivation by removing the existing forest, burning and utilizing the virgin land for cultivation of rain fed crops such as paddy, maize, oil seed, vegetables, turmeric, ginger and peepal among the spices. After cultivation of these crops for one or two seasons they used to move on to new forest areas to repeat the process of denuding the virgin forest. To prevent this age old practice of shifting cultivation (Podu) and to settle these tribals on permanent basis, the Central Government as well as the Government of Andhra Pradesh initiated several economic activities. Introduction of Coffee Coffee was first introduced in Andhra Pradesh in 1898 by Mr. Brodie, a Britisher, in Pamuleru Valley of East Godavari and also in Sircilla of Karimnagar District. Coffee had a second entry into Andhra Pradesh in 1920 introduced by the Jamindars/Revenue Officers and progressive tribal growers and coffee cultivation gradually spread to Ananthagiri, Minimuluru and Chintapalli areas of Visakhapatnam District. Coffee Board’s participation in development of coffee in the State of Andhra Pradesh which is a Non Traditional Coffee Area (NTA), was initiated during the late fifties through a survey conducted in the areas of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh by Sri W. Raghavendra Rao, the then Senior Liaison Officer, Coffee Board. In order to prevent shifting cultivation by local tribals and protect and conserve agro-eco system of this important hot-spot, Coffee Board planned and programmed to introduce coffee on a large scale under two tier shade system. Coffee Board established its extension office at Paderu during 1971 for the benefit of tribal growers and other agencies to render technical advisory. The Regional Coffee Research Station was established during 1976 to cater to the needs of NTA areas such as development of newer selection materials and study the zone specific problems. Development Activities and Progress As on 1999-2000, around 15,900 Ha. was under coffee cultivation and the number of tribal growers involved was 23,500 with a coffee production of 2,245 metric tones. Then the income from coffee was between Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 18,000 per ha. The quantum of quality coffee produced was 10 metric tonnes. Then the infrastructure included only one mechanized pulper and one baby pulper. As compared to this, in the year 2009-10, the area under coffee cultivation has increased to around 42,700 ha. covered by 78,000 tribal growers with an estimated coffee production of 5,085 metric tones. The income from per heacters has gone upto Rs.30,000/- to Rs. 36,000/-, one acre has gone up to Rs. 12,000 - 15,000/-. Besides the income from coffee, the additional income from subsidiary crops ranges between Rs. 2,500 to 10,000/-. On an average the tribal grower at present is earning Rs. 22,000 – 25,000/- out of coffee and subsidiary crops. The infrastructure available are 3,465 cement drying yards, 2165 baby pulpers and 29 storage/godowns. As of now the pucca houses owned by tribal growers is around 30 per cent. Capacity Building Programme Capacity Building is a process of strengthening procedural, technical, organizational capabilities of individuals, groups and organizations involved in the developmental project. Under this, the tribes are imparted the training on working knowledge and skills involved in different aspects of coffee cultivation. Capacity building has been one of the most important function that contributes for the development of tribes of Agency areas in Andhra Pradesh. *Inputs from the Department of Commerce

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