Silver Oak trees harmful to coffee plantations: IISc

Silver Oak Tree

Silver Oak Tree

Raising Silver Oak Trees within the coffee plantations as shade trees would prove disastrous to the coffee growing areas, a research conducted by the Centre for Wild Life Sciences of the Indian Institute of Sciences(IISc) said today.

Talking to newspersons here, jointly organised by the United Planters Association of South India (UPASI) and Karnataka Planters Association(KPA) here, Coffee Board Chairman G V Krishna Rau said in the interest of the Coffee Industry, raising of Silver Oak Trees in coffee plantations as shade tree must be discouraged.

Sharing the research results of the IISc on Silver Oak trees at Coffee plantations in Karnataka, Mr Rau said, compared to natural and mixed shade trees, the silver oak trees would cause more radiation, emit higher temperature and reduce humidity in plantation.

The study also suggests more content of aluminium in the Silver Oak leaves would cause immense damage to the plantation soil.

It also proved as unfriendly tree for the birds to hatch and habitate.

”Excessive dependence on Silver Oak trees would hamper the Coffee Industry in future and hence there was a need to discourage it and opt for restoring natural and healthy shade trees,” the Chairman said, adding Coffee Board would also join hands with the Planters in its endeavour.

Stating that Indian Coffee Industry would face stiff challenges due to increased competition from Vietnam, Indonesia and FTA with ASEAN countries, Mr Raju said it could be effectively tackled by upgrading technology, pumping more investment and popularaising coffee more in the domestic market.

Recent rains in the region would prove boon for the coffee crop, both robust and arabica varieties and the country would meet its production target, he added.

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