KANUBARI, Nov 14: Coffee may soon replace tea in Kanubari, as tea growers have been hit hard by drop in the prices of green leaves and shortage of labourers, said MLA Gabriel D Wangsu.
“Kanubari is so far known for its lush green tea gardens. But, coffee may soon replace tea, if the prices of green leaves continues to come down,” observed Wangsu, who also is the chairman of APSCIT and e-governance.
Addressing a team of officers from the Coffee Board of India, state officials and public during interactive sessions at Kanubari and Longhua village on Monday, the MLA said coffee offers scope for economic growth and helps maintain natural equilibrium.
Calling upon the people to seriously take up coffee farming as one of the sources of sustenance by strictly following the farming techniques and procedures, Wangsu informed that the Forest and Horticulture departments too would soon raise coffee nurseries with the help of the Coffee Board of India.
Joint Director of Coffee Board of India, Dr C G Anand, who arrived from Bangaluru to study feasibility of coffee cultivation, said that Kanubari area is suitable for growing Robusta coffee and the success stories of other parts of India can be replicated in this region.
Describing the first coffee nursery raised by a local entrepreneur as beginning of a new chapter, Dr Anand assured all technical support from his office.
Deputy Director of Coffee Board, P P Choudhury informed that the five-member team is here as a follow-up of the initiation by Chief Minister Pema Khandu to encourage coffee cultivation in the state.
At least 10 to 15 farmers would be soon selected to undergo on-field training outside the state before coffee saplings are initiated in the plantation, he said while making it categorically clear that coffee may not bring windfall of goodies but can definitely help stabilize the economy of the people.
More than 100 farmers are already taking up coffee farming in Deomali area and many more are ready to venture in to this cash crop, he added.
Earlier, members of the Coffee Board, accompanied by Wangsu, HoDs and local leaders visited the first privately raised coffee nursery at Mopakhat. They also visited the identified plantation area at Araab in Longhua village and had a long interaction with the chief, GB and PRI members.
Meanwhile, Wangsu inaugurated a conference hall at the ADC’s office.