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Wayanad:

 
With Italy, the biggest importer of ‘Indian Robusta’, a popular variety of coffee turning the biggest hotspot of COVID-19, thousands of kilometres away, coffee growers in the hilly district of Wayanad are not that pleased.

In Italy, there are over 1.30 lakh coronavirus cases with over 17,000 deaths reported so far.

According to Prasanth Rajesh, of the Coffee Growers Association, the total export of Indian Robusta variety is around 65,000 tonnes to Italy.

“Of this around 50,000 tonnes is from Wayanad. For the past two years, floods took away the sheen and this time with Italy affected due to COVID, things are not that good,” said Rajesh.

In 2018-19 the total production of coffee in Kerala is 64,676 tonnes and there are a good number of homestead coffee plants.

M.V.Shreyamskumar, media baron and a former two time legislator told IANS that they are into coffee plantations for several generations in Wayanad.

” The productivity in Wayanad is coming down. When it was around two tonnes per acre, today, it has come down drastically. Italy is the major market for robusta variety, in which Wayanad leads, other areas, said Shreyamskumar.

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