A perspective view of Karnataka's coffee plantation

According to legend, coffee was introduced on the hills near Chikamagalore in Karnataka by a Muslim pilgrim Baba Budan during 16th century. By 20th century the British pioneered coffee cultivation in commercial scale in Western Ghats of Karnataka. The coffee plantations contribute significantly to sustain the unique biodiversity of Western Ghats, which is acclaimed as one of the ecologically sensitive zones in the world. The coffee plantations are responsible for the social economic development in some of the most remote and backward areas.

Planters by the dispersal of their locations were tending to be individualistic. The problems and opportunities were rarely discussed as forums were not created to have meetings in groups. But inherited inclination to socialize and exchange views and ideas was strong enough for the emergence of social plantation clubs. But vast majority of native planters were left out due to colonial culture.

Emergence of associations

Even though commercial cultivation of coffee was pioneered by British, gradually the native planters also started expanding their areas of cultivation in bigger scale. By 20th century, the cultivation reached to its zenith in the regions of Chikamagalore, Kodagu and Muzrababad (present Sakleshpur).

Smaller district level planters associations and social clubs which came into existence in the early 20th century had its own limitations in the sphere of activities to serve the interest of planters. The creation of network of such associations inevitably led to the emergence of the industry central organizations. But due to prevailing situation and influence, the British character of associations appeared to be prominent and colonial culture in functioning of these associations. These associations were funded by huge corporates and companies, which had there own agenda and interest. There were clash of interest at many occasions. This naturally deprived the participation in activities by small native growers.

 Emergence Of Small Growers Associations

The 98.5% of India's coffee growers comprises of medium and small growers holding less than 10Ha, realized they are in the need of district and hobli level growers associations, because the British character of other associations does not reflect their mood, attitude and aspirations. They intended to erase the prevailing public impression that all the planters are big land lords with imposing behavior and attitude. By establishing district level associations they have succeed to assert that vast majority of coffee growers have same problems and suffering as any other farmer in the country. The Hassan District Planters association took the lead in this direction and created a forum in which small growers could participate, exchange views and ideas for the socio-economic development of the region.

Financial benefits to planter's from Karnataka Grower's Federation (2002-2012)

2001-2002 : SCTL : 281 Crores
2006 : Vidharba Package : 300 Crores
2000-2012 : Agricultural Income Tax : 500 Crores
2008 : Debit Waiver for Agriculture Loans : 110 Crores
2001-2002 : Debit Waiver for Coffee Loan : 50 Crores
2012 : K.P.T.C.L : 250 Crores
  IP Set : 18 Crores
2008 : Co-oporative Society Interest Waiver : 110 Crores

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