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Wayanad - Coffee


“Wayanad Robusta Coffee” is grown specifically in the region of Wayanad district which is situated on the eastern portion of Kerala and lies between the North latitudes 11o 27’ and 11o 58’and the East longitudes 75o 47’ and 76o 26’ with an altitude ranging from approximately 700 M to 2100 M

The Robusta coffee of Wayanad region exhibit soft to neutral cup, full bodied, malty and chocolaty note with light to medium flavour. The un‐washed (cherry/natural) Wayanaad Robusta Coffee exhibit slight cherry / fruitiness, chocolaty and grassy taste. These characteristics are unique for coffees grown in this region when compared to the other Robusta growing region. Wayanad Robusta Coffee beans are golden brown beans which from the olden days had a special place in the global market.

Coffee based farming system is a notable feature of Wayanad. Coffee is grown both as pure crop and as mixed crop along with pepper. Wayanad, produces almost around 90% of the state’s Coffee produce which literally concludes that the coffee economy of kerala is highly correlated with the coffee economy existing in Wayanad. The geographical description of the territory covers a vast portion with agricultural land, roughly 54 % of the district's area. Robusta coffee produce is more than 95 % of the total coffee cultivation done in Wayanad. As an approach towards natural farming, the farmers generally grow coffee plantations under the shade of spice plantations mainly pepper so that the cash crop can be protected against pests and other diseases generated in the soil.



In the first half of the nineteenth century Manantoddy was military station and the troops were cantoned on the hill. The officer in command appears to have planted coffee experimentally on this hill employing his men for the work and the tree flourished on this fertile soil. North Wayanad then became a planting centre with all the stuffs of European club. “Letters from Malabar” written by Jacob Cater Visscher who was Chaplain at Cochin from the year 1717 to 1723 has written the following phrases.

“The coffee shrubs is planted in gardens for pleasure and yields plenty of fruit which attains a proper degree of ripeness…If it thrive, great advantage no doubt accrue to the East India Company who will not thus be compelled to purchase such quantities from Mocha, where the price is very high…..” East India Company opened an experimental plantation at Anjarakandy, near Tellicherry under Mr. Murdock Brown and was reported to do well during 1800. In 1825, Captain Bevan of the 27th Regiment took over charge of the garrison at Manantoddy in North Wayanad and very shortly showed his interest to introduce coffee cultivation. Mr. Brown seems to have made a success of this venture, and he came to be known as 'Anjarakandy Brown '. Plants taken from Anjarakandy were planted in Manantoddy in Wayanad in 1825by one Captain Bevan, when his garrison was stationed there and these established themselves so well that coffee seeds were distributed to the local cultivators for planting by the then Collector of Malabar Mr. W. Sheffield Captain Bevan writes : “I extended my plantation considerably while I remained in the station on ascertaining from impartial and good judges (especially Bishop Turner, who has tasted the coffee) that is possessed the flavour and aroma of the fined Mocha berries”

He left Manantoddy in 1831 and the two members of the firm of Parry and Company passing Manantoddy on their way to the Bababudans were so stuck with the coffee they found there that at their suggestion the “Pew” estate was opened on the hill by Mr.Pugh from Ceylon who was an experienced planter. It is estimated that during the year 1869, there existed 120 thousand acres of coffee plantations in South India, out of which 60 thousand acres were in Wayanad. Coffee cultivation reached its peak during the second half of the 19th century. Coffee estates existed in Mananthavady, Panamaram, Thirunelly (in North Wayanad) Thariod, Vythiri, Vazhavatta, Sulthan Bathery, and Kolagappara (in South Wayanad) during this period. Europeans, mainly the English, were the owners of these plantations.

As per the statement by Francis B. Thurber in his book on “PLANTATION TO CUP” He states that from an official “Statement of the Material Progress of India” he has learn that: “The extension of coffee cultivation commenced experimentally in the Wayanad in 1840, and in 1862 there were 9,932 acres under cultivation in the Wayanad alone. In 1865, Wayanad coffee cultivation had increased to 200 estates, covering 14,613 acres. The exports in 1860‐61 amounted to 19,119,209 pounds, and coffee cultivation became a very important and increasing source of wealth. The Robusta variety of coffee was introduced in Wayanad in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Arabic coffee has more beverage value and hence fetched higher price. Robusta can also withstand the attack of pests and diseases. Hence Arabica was gradually replaced by Robusta.


District Profiles

  • Name: Wayanad
  • Area: 2,132 km2
  • Population: 817,420
  • Literacy: 89.32%

How to get there:

  • Airport: The nearest Airport to Wayanad is Kozhikode (Calicut) International Airport at a distance of about 100 km from Kalpetta (Wayanad district HQ).
  • Railway Station: The railway station nearest to Wayanad is in Kozhikode and there are many major towns and districts that the trains stop at before reaching Kozhikode.
  • Highway: The Kozhikode–Kollegal National Highway 766 (formarly NH 212) passes through Wayanad district. En route to Mysore on NH 212, past Wayanad district boundary, which is also the Kerala state boundary, NH 766 passes through Bandipur National Park.


Value Chain

Supply Chain

Raw Materials: 

  • Seeds
  • Water

Resources/ Inputs: 

  • Labour
  • Farm Equipment


  • The seed coffees obtained from authentic source are sown in germination bed during December to January. The duration between seed sowing and field planting of seedlings will be about eight month. 
  • Field planting of seedlings is normally taken up during the month of August to September. After field planting, the Robusta plants starts yielding from fifth years onwards and yield stabilizes from tenth year forwards. 
  • The flowering in Robusta occurs in February and the normal duration between flower to fruit development is about ten to eleven months. The period between January and March is the main harvest season for Robusta coffee.   
  • In case of washed coffee, the Robusta coffee fruits are harvested and then manually sorted to remove the immature and over‐ripe fruits from the harvested coffee lot.
  • The resulting coffee beans (known as wet parchment) are sun‐dried to a thickness of 4 to 7 cm for about six to eight days under bright weather condition. During the course of drying, the wet parchment is raked regularly to facilitate uniform drying of coffee. 
  • When the coffee samples reaches to a moisture level of 10%, the coffee samples (known as parchment coffee), they are bagged in clean gunny bags and stacked on a raised wooden platform to ensure of circulation of air underneath the bags and also avoid re‐absorption of moisture from surroundings.   
  • In case of un‐washed coffee, the Robusta coffee fruits are harvested when 85 to 90% of the fruits in a given plot/area. Before subjecting the fruits for drying, all the unripe, tree‐  dried and damaged fruits are sorted out and dried separately. 
  • The remaining sound/healthy fruits are spread to a thickness of about 7 to 8 cm on clean drying yards and dried for about 12 to 15 days under bright weather condition. During the course of drying, the fruits are raked regularly to facilitate uniform drying of coffee. 

To Market:

When the coffee samples reaches to a moisture level of 12%, (known as dry cherry) they are winnowed to remove the extraneous matter (if any) and then bagged in clean gunny bags. The bags are stacked on a raised wooden platform to ensure of circulation of air underneath the bags and also avoid re‐absorption of moisture from surroundings. The dry cherry samples are dispatched to curing factories for further processing (removal of husk, size grading and garbling of un‐desirable coffee beans).  



Central Government schemes

  • Circular for implementation of ICDP Schemes under the MTF Period
  • Development Support for Coffee in Traditional Areas
  • Coffee Development Programme (CDP) in Non-Traditional Areas
  • Welfare Measures to Children of labourers 
  • Export Promotion - Providing Transit/Freight Assistance for Coffee Exports
  • Modalities / Guidelines for Support for Value Addition - Support to R&G units
  • Implementation of Coffee Development Programme during 2017-18 - reg
  • Circular - Modalities for implementation of XII Plan Scheme - Clarifications - reg
  • Development Support for Coffee in Traditional Areas<
  • Coffee Development Programme (CDP) in Non-Traditional Areas
  • Coffee Development Programme (CDP) in North East Region
  • Rainfall Insurance Scheme for Coffee (RISC) 
  • Support for Mechanization of Coffee Estate Operations
  • Export Promotion - Export Incentive 
  • Market Development - Support to Small Growers' Collectives / SHGs / Co-operatives for coffee marketing
  • Support for Value Addition - R&G Units & Coffee Curing Works 
  • Integrated Coffee Development Project Modalities - In Tamil Language
  • FLAVOUR - Term Loan Scheme for financing coffee processing industries - Dovetailed with support for Value Addition in Coffee
  • Modalities for Gap / vacancy filling in the arabica estates due to removal of White Stem Borer infested plants under Action Plan to Combat White Stem Borer
  • Modalities for implementing support to Self Help Groups for setting up Community Nurseries during 2014-15 and 2015-16 under Action Plan to combat White Stem Borer
  • Circular on Implementation of the 12th Plan Scheme titled "Integrated Coffee Development Project


State Schemes

  • Farmers’ Trade Market of the Brahmagiri Development Society (BDS)
  • Kerala: Blossom backing insurance
  • Kerala: Monsoon Insurance Rainfall