Coffee sector allocation raised to Rs750 crore in 11th plan

Mumbai: The planning commission has allocated Rs750 crore for the coffee sector in the 11th five-year plan (2007- 2012), against Rs300 crore in the previous plan, union minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh said in Bangalore.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Karnataka Planters'' Association, he said the 11th five-year plan would be formally approved at the full planning commission meeting on November 8.

He said replantation in 70,000-80,000 hectares in coffee producing regions is proposed to be taken up during the 11th plan.

Ramesh said a new variety of coffee - the first in 21 years - is slated to be released in December, while sequencing of coffee genome has also been taken up to help understand it better.

He said the Coffee Board had entered into an agreement with IIT Kharagpur to develop cost-effective, affordable farm machinery for small growers.

"Pruning, weeding, picking and various operations...We want to see whether we can actually mechanise", Ramesh said.