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The Koraput District of Odisha’s Treasure: Coffee Plantations Change the Lives of Tribal People

The charming Koraput district of Odisha is located in the center of India’s eastern Ghats, tucked in the scenic heights of 3,000 feet above sea level. a modest sanctuary that has been gradually attracting attention for its rare gem, Koraput coffee. The tenacious tribal inhabitants of this area cultivate this unique coffee, which has become the pride of Odisha.

A Spectacular Journey Begins

“Nescafe and Brew come to mind when we think of coffee. However, there is good news: coffee is now grown in the Koraput area of Odisha. This coffee’s flavor and other characteristics are on par with that of coffee from Brazil and Colombia. Pritidhara Samal, a coffee farmer, reflected the sense of pleasure and success that has engulfed the local community when she said, “The fame of this coffee has spread all over India, even buyers from abroad are coming to buy coffee.”

What distinguishes this coffee, though? It’s not just about the beans; it’s about a transforming journey that supports tourism, empowers native farmers, and protects the environment.

An economic and environmental win-win

The cold environment and abundant rainfall in Koraput make it the perfect location for growing coffee. The 100% Arabica coffee that is grown here flourishes in the shade of the enormous trees, producing a beverage that is recognized for its distinctive flavor and remarkable quality. Arabica coffee is favored by those who care about their health since it has many advantages over the more popular Robusta kind.

The coffee from Koraput is not merely a local treat; it also has high export standards. When coffee plants were first established in the 1930s by the former Maharaja of Jeypore, Rajbahadur Rama Chandra Deo, this astonishing metamorphosis got its start. The legacy of the past and the current mindset toward the future are interwoven.

The former District Magistrate of Koraput, Gadadhar Parida, was instrumental in bringing about this change. “In 2008 and again in 2009, I was appointed Koraput DM. I had advised choosing both large-scale black pepper and coffee crops. In order to nearly completely eliminate the cost of growing black pepper with the aforementioned plants, which will provide coffee farmers with a second source of revenue.

The Coffee Growers Association was actively helped by Parida, who went beyond mere encouragement by giving them a designated office space. This proactive strategy fostered regional business while also fostering a sense of community.

An Emerging Dream

Today, Koraput has a coffee plantation covering more than 5,000 hectares, of which 2,072 hectares are lovingly tended by over 2,000 tribal farmers. This is a huge improvement over the situation in 2011, when only 400 tribal members produced coffee on just 400 hectares of land. It bears witness to the extraordinary journey that has been made.

Additionally, thanks to government aid and support from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Coffee Board of India, organic Koraput coffee has become a well-known brand. The actual guardians of this legacy are the indigenous communities.

An Empowerment Story

The tribal population is heavily interested in coffee production in the Semiliguda, Dasmantpur, Laxmipur, Lamtaput, Nandapur, Koraput, Baipariguda, and Pottangi blocks. Over 30,000 families have received rights to 46,000 acres of forest land from the state government. Many of these indigenous families have successfully cultivated coffee on this territory.

These coffee growers receive unwavering assistance from the government through the Tribal Development Cooperative Corporation of Odisha Ltd (TDCCOL) and Koraput Agro Products Producer Company Limited (KAPPCO), a producer company of the Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society.

This assistance has not only given the tribal villages fresh life, but it has also spurred a revolution in the area. Not only is Koraput coffee a beverage, but it also represents empowerment, environmental sustainability, and economic expansion.

The Future Is Calling

A monument to the unyielding spirit of the tribal communities and the commitment of people like Gadadhar Parida, the aroma of freshly brewed Koraput coffee fills the air. The coffee beans, which were once a hidden gem, are now a symbol of optimism for the area.

Not only is Koraput altering its own destiny, but also the way that people view Indian coffee. This is a tale of empowerment, transformation, and a voyage that may have the capacity to change the way the indigenous groups in this lovely region live.