Nagaland in Coffee Map
The world began October with a cup of coffee, celebrating International Coffee Day on the first day of the month to recognise the farmers, baristas and shop owners for serving the beverage to millions of people who begin and end their day with it. The coffee story is believed to have started in Ethiopia, the home of the Coffea arabica plant, with a humble beginning but it has turned into an unstoppable force today, becoming one of the most consumed beverages and one of the world’s most traded commodities. It’s quite a journey. Interestingly, this delicacy serves both the source and destination well. While it has become the driving force of economy for many countries like Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia and Ethiopia through exports, most of the coffee destinations are situated in the West. The fact that popular caffeinated beverages like latte, macchiato and cappuccino originated from Italy, a country that doesn’t produce coffee, and the world’s largest coffee chain Starbucks was launched in the US, tells that the aroma of this drink has reached every corner of the world and a flourishing business. It greases the economic wheels of both the producing countries and the destination, generating employment as well as revenue.
Sensing the prospect of this ever-growing industry, Nagaland has jumped on the bandwagon. Coffee may have been introduced in the state a few decades ago but its production on a commercial scale started only in 2015 with the concerted efforts of the state government. Nagaland Coffee finally went global after Naga Coffee Private Limited tied up with South African-based firm Noble Cause Private Limited for export of the crop produced in the state to the global market. It is said that a few major coffee buyers have expressed keenness to buy the produce from Nagaland, which has been dubbed as one of the best in the world. The feedback appears to be good so far and the Land Resources department has done a commendable job, managing to expand the land under coffee plantations to 8, 996.5 Ha in 2020. The government has said that it aims to increase the area of plantation in the state to 50, 000 Ha by 2030. This may appear like an ambitious target for a small state like Nagaland but certainly not unachievable. However, the vision of making Nagaland a coffee destination and promoting the brand “Nagaland Coffee” can be achieved only if the people take up its plantation on a commercial scale and boost export. The people of the state should shed the old habit of abandoning cultivation of new crops midway after the initial hiccups. There is practically nothing in this world that doesn’t involve risk. It may take a few years before the crop starts to bear fruit but once cultivation begins, it can generate revenue for decades. Vietnam’s success story of becoming one of the world’s largest coffee producers in a short span of time is a classic example of how co-ordinated effort from the government and the citizens can transform the industry and shape the economy of the people. There can be many a slip between the cup and the lip but coffee growers from Nagaland have the advantage of the crop’s “unique taste” and government’s support. The ball is in the court of the people.