Dr. Pereira is a microbiologist & a coffee farmer and owns the Kirehully Estate in the Western Ghats, in Hassan District, India. Ms. Geeta Pereira, wife of Dr. Anand Pereira is a horticulturist and a coffee farmer.
The coffee grown in India is all shade grown. Hardly 3 to 5% of the coffee grown is marketed as gourmet coffee.
The coffee ranges in India are located in the heart of the Western Ghats, considered one among the 18 hot spots of the globe. The most important part is that this Western ghat preserve is home to some of the most threatened species of of flora and fauna. The coffee mountains and valleys form a continuous chain and house various species of wildlife. It is a symbol of coexistence. For example, even today within an aerial distance of 15kms from my farm one can frequently see bison, sambar, and deer. wild bore, blackbuck, etc. inside the coffee ranges. The Western Ghats runs along the West coast of South India and covers various places along the mountains – the Anamalais, the Pulneys, the Sahyadris, the Nilgiris, and the High Ranges. These coffee ranges are home to wildlife sanctuaries, National parks, tiger reserves, and biodiversity plantations. The Bandipur National park flanked by Nagarahole National park, Madhumalai wildlife sanctuary and Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, together constitute the protected Nilgiri biosphere reserve, which is India’s first biosphere reserve. This reserve is a key breeding landscape for tigers, elephants, sambars, and other mega fauna distributed across the three states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Coffee plantations have all along acted as migratory corridors for wildlife. In a few instances the Government over the years has expanded the original wildlife sanctuaries by acquiring the neighboring plantations in order to establish breeding grounds for threatened species like tigers. For example just a few years back, the Government formed the Kudremukh National Park which again is surrounded by coffee plantations. Apart from these bioreserves many smaller protected forests adjourn the plantations. Hence it is a mixture of the old and new.
Firstly, from the physiological view point, the coffee plant is a self programmed bush. The coffee bush is a biological factory, programmed to perform different functions at various stages of growth and development. Coffee cultivation depends on set patterns of soil, climate and ecosystems. Over thousands of years the coffee bush has evolved to tune into the series of natures formulas which are a part and parcel of the coffee mountain. Due to global warming the weather patterns are erratic and unpredictable and the coffee bush is in an utter state of confusion. Due to the impact of global warming the bush remains in a confused state and the internal programming gets corrupted .There is considerable delay in the production of productive woods, flower primordia, and the entire biological clock of the coffee plants goes for a toss. The major impact is the significant reduction in yields in spite of following the regular package of practices. The quality of coffee is badly affected. The land is under tremendous pressure to deliver a higher output but the end result is higher incidence of pests and diseases due to the ecological imbalances as a consequence of global warming. Incidences of new chemical resistant races of pathogens have also been recorded.