Flying beetles in India’s coffee crops threaten price hike

Flying beetles in India’s coffee crops threaten price hike

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Coffee plantations in India destroyed by white stem borer beetles.

Southern India is home to some of the largest swathes of coffee plantations in the world. Some of the best coffee in the world is produced here, however, this year, these plantations face the threat of destruction due to the harboring of white stem borer beetles in them.

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Coffee farmers in the south are being forced to destroy several bushes to prevent the beetles from annihilating the entire crop of Arabica coffee. The flying creatures bore through the bark and feeds on their stems.

The failing advancement of the Indian monsoons this year is providing a conducive environment for the beetles to grow. The beetles are thriving due to warm weather and scanty rains in the areas where Arabica coffee is grown.

The area is known as the world’s sixth largest coffee producer. If the hot weather continues to persist, the pests will further spread, leading the coffee crop to fall at its lowest in 17 years upon the commencement of harvest season in October.

All these conditions are most likely to eventually push global prices which are already escalating due to the drought-like situation in Brazil – another one of the world’s top coffee producing regions.

One of the farmers says that there is no effective pesticide to control the white stem borers from spreading in crops.

With the state run weather department predicting a below average rainfall throughout July and August, the fate of southern India’s coffee plantations remains uncertain.

Photo Credits: Ecofriendly