Banner Why should Indian Coffee Producers go for Drip Irrigation?

Why should Indian Coffee Producers go for Drip Irrigation?

Despite challenges, some Indian coffee producers, especially those from Karnataka, are creating hopes for coffee producers. Through drip irrigation, these coffee producers have been cultivating top-quality coffee. They’ve been helping Indian coffee retain its reputation in the global coffee market. This blog talks about a couple of such inspiring coffee success stories that encourage other Indian coffee producers to produce more coffee through drip irrigation.

The Story of Drip Irrigation in Pettehithlu Coffee Estate in Chikmagalur!

About Pettehithlu Coffee Estate

Pettehithlu is one of the leading coffee producers in the southern region. The estate has been producing some of the finest coffee berries through the multi clone plantation method under shade. It uses organic fertilizers to ensure top-quality and tasty berries and to avoid chemical waste. Sudeer, the planter from Pettehithlu Estate, has reported record growth of coffee yield after the adoption and installation of drip irrigation across its 30-acre estate.

Increasing Coffee Yield and Reducing Manpower Requirement and Costs was a Major Concern for Pettehithlu

One of Pettehithlu’s most crucial concerns was to keep up with the required levels of coffee production. Relying entirely on the sprinkler method wasn’t helping as much. The pressing need to meet the ever-increasing demands of the coffee market, and the urge to reduce manpower costs, encouraged Pettehithlu to adopt a combination of drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation throughout the field.

Drip Irrigation Helped Pettehithlu Increase Coffee Yield

In 2012, Pettehithlu partnered with Netafim to adopt drip irrigation for its Robusta and CXR coffee variety. Netafim designed and installed a drip system after a thorough examination and evaluation of the entire estate to ensure precision supply of water and nutrients. Pettehithlu used urea, DAP, potash as fertilizers and neem cake, and Humojesic as organic manure. Besides, the micronutrients used included zinc, MgSO4, CaNO3, and Boran.

In 2013, after a year of installation, Pettehithlu reported a yield of 80 bags per acre under a drip and 20 bags per acre under the sprinkler system. Apart from that, the estate also achieved a better quality yield, and therefore a price of 3600 INR per bag. The cultivation cost incurred per acre was INR 80,000. Overall, Netafim’s drip irrigation system helped Pettehithlu increase yield, better crop quality, reduce labor costs, and increase the bottom lines.

Vikram’s Success Story of Achieving 12 Bags per Acre with Drip Irrigation!

Kodagu’s is the most fertile land of Karnataka when it comes to coffee cultivation. The region is home to several coffee estates, together, which contribute to over 53% of the total coffee that the state produces. Although evergreen and characterized by abundant rainfall, Kodagu has its challenges. One of them is achieving higher coffee yield while ensuring efficient water management and precision supply of water and nutrients to the root zone of the coffee crop.

These challenges require a modern-day, efficient and sustainable solution to keep up with ever-rising coffee production demands, but at the same, ensure that the quality doesn’t suffer, and the cultivator saves water to fight futuristic concerns such as water scarcity, rainfall irregularity, and weather vagaries.


The Element that made a Difference to Vikram’s Coffee Cultivation

Vikram, the owner of Maskod Coffee Estate, is one of the many coffee producers in the Kodagu region, albeit with a difference! He owns a 10-acre coffee estate amidst the fertile land of Kodagu and has been producing coffee for years. Vikram, with Netafim’s help, adopted drip irrigation in 2014. He planted the Kaveri variety of coffee and Paniyoor variety of pepper to get an astonishing harvest in 2015!

Drip irrigation enabled Vikram to make prudent use of water, and other nutrients such as cow dung manure, and fertilizers such as urea and white potash. Apart from these, it helped him make wise use of other fertilizers such as DAP and magnesium sulfate to ensure a high-quality crop yield. The venture incurred around 75,000 INR per acre, which was way lesser than the resource he had been investing all this while with traditional irrigation.

Drip helped the Maskod estate achieve some fantastic results. It included 12 bags of parchment coffee and eight bags under the sprinkler irrigation method. The crop achieved an amazing price of 8000 INR bag. A combination of drip and sprinkler irrigation proved far more efficient and productive, helping Vikram produce more coffee than sprinkler irrigation alone, and at the same produce high-quality pepper, thus increasing his agricultural profits.

Why should Indian Coffee Producers go for Drip Irrigation?

Well, the results are evident. Drip proves cost-effective in terms of the per-acre production price, productive with respect to per acre yield, and the higher per bag price that farmers across various coffee estates in Karnataka have achieved. Drip contributes to an overall yield increment of around 50-60% and 70-80% water-savings, and enhanced crop quality, which otherwise may not be entirely in your control with traditional coffee growing techniques.

Aside from that, drip irrigation is a sustainable solution. Of course, it demands some initial investment, but considering the results coffee cultivators have been reaping, drip irrigation is worth the money you invest!

The company has been helping Indian coffee cultivators grow more coffee in lesser water, lesser investments, and of course, with lesser hassles! It continues to deliver results across various regions of Karnataka and has helped many farmers optimize coffee yield.

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