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Andhra Pradesh: Araku coffee and black pepper are now certified organic

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In a significant achievement, the Girijan Co-operative Corporation (GCC), Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, has been granted organic certification for its renowned Araku coffee and black pepper crops by the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). This certification is expected to have a positive impact on the market value of these products.

The certification covers an extensive cultivation area spanning 21,104 acres, with coffee and pepper being grown by 1,300 farmers in the Gondipakalu, Lammasingi, Kappalu, GK Veedhi, Pedavalasa, and Erracheruvulu clusters in the Chintapalli division and GK Veedhi Mandal, respectively. The process of obtaining this certification involved various challenging tasks, including third-party verification, online registration, geo-tagging of farms, and updating all relevant details in the APEDA portal.

The GCC’s organic certification for Araku coffee and black pepper marks a significant milestone for the cooperative and highlights the dedication of the farmers in preserving the organic integrity of their crops. With its exquisite taste and sustainable production methods, Araku Coffee is poised to make a mark in the global coffee market and establish itself as a premium and sought-after product for coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

Araku Coffee – Specialty:

Taking its name from Araku Valley, a lush green valley deep in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the Araku Coffee is cultivated in the valley’s protected ecosystem which offers the ideal growing conditions for coffee. The weather of the Araku Valley – with its hot days and cold nights along with the iron-rich soil allows the coffee to ripen slowly giving it its aromatic richness and taste.

Arabica Coffee:

Araku Valley Arabica can be described as coffee from the Hilly tracks of Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha region at an elevation of 900‐1100 Mt Mean Sea Level. The major type of Coffee grown in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha is Arabica Coffee. Coffea Arabica is a species of Coffee originally indigenous to the forests of the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia. It is also known as the “coffee shrub of Arabia”, “mountain coffee”, or “Arabica coffee”.

Araku Coffee – Geography

The area around Vishakapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh and Koraput district in Orissa is recognized to have the basic physical and climatic conditions that are required for coffee cultivation. The hilly region has an elevation ranging from 3000 to 5300 feet, receives adequate rains from South‐West and North‐East monsoons distributed throughout the major part of the year. The average rainfall is 1250 to 1500 mm, with relative humidity between 68 to 92 percent. Soils are sandy clay loams with optimum pH levels of 6.0 to 6.5. The terrain in the region is medium to steep slopes.

Soil : 

The coffee soils in Araku Valley belong to the red lateritic soil groups. They differ in texture from sandy loam to clayey loam with colour varying from light grey to deep red.The soils are usually rich in organic matter and acidic to neutral in reaction (pH). The total soluble salts are well below the sensitivity limits. They are well supplied with potassium but are generally low in available phosphorus. They are also poor in calcium and magnesium. They respond well to liming, manuring and others oil management practices.

Uniqueness:

The coffees of Araku region are light to medium body, pleasant acidity with citrus note of grape fruit with mild Jaggery sweetness. The cherry/unwashed/natural Araku Valley/ Arabica Coffees exhibit positive fruit taste with sweet, honey and occasionally a hint of pleasant winey.

The coffee producer of Araku, by the tribals follows an organic approach in which they emphasis management practices involving substantial use of organic manures, green manuring, organic pest management practices etc.

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