Central Coffee Research Institute
Research work on coffee was initiated during the year 1915 by setting up a temporary laboratory at Koppa. Initial studies focused attention in combating the dreaded leaf disease of coffee. Later it was deemed necessary to have a full fledged experimental station to tackle the multifarious problems that the coffee industry had been countered with. Accordingly the Government of Mysore started a field research station and officially named it the ” Mysore Coffee Experimental Station” during 1925. The land for the research station was gifted by Major C.S.Crawford of Guntanaik estate. Subsequently the erstwhile Government of Mysore handed over the established farm to the Coffee Board, which had come into being during 1942. Organized research on Coffee started from 1946 onwards.
The Central Coffee Research Institute ( CCRI ) is presently one of the premier institutes in South East Asia. There are seven different disciplines viz. Agronomy, Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Botany, Entomology/Nematology, Plant Physiology, Biotechnology and Post Harvest Technology, striving to evolve strategies aimed at increasing productivity and improvement is the quality of coffee. Besides, regional stations have been established at Chundale in Kerala, Thandigudi in Tamil Nadu, Raghavendranagar in Andra Pradesh and at Diphu in Assam, in addition to Coffee Research Sub-station at Chettalli in Kodagu for extrapolation of results under different agro-climatic conditions where coffee is grown.
An exclusive Tissue Culture and Biotechnology Division has been established in Mysore where studies on bio-technology and molecular biology are in progress to complement the conventional breeding programs in developing high yielding, pest and disease resistant varieties. The Quality Control Division Stationed at Bangalore has been actively collaborating with other research disciplines in upgrading the quality of coffee in the cup.
The Central Coffee Research Institute is about 8 kms from Balehonnur and is located about 3 kms off the main road on Balehonnur – Sringeri route in Chickmagalur District.
The Research Farm
The total area of the institute is 130.94 hectares. The area planted to coffee is 80.26 hectares comprising 51.32 hectares of arabica and 28.94 hectares of robusta. In addition about 10.0 hectares has been planted to C X R during 2000 with 28.3 hectares. jungle remaining for future expansion about 12.38 hectares of land is utilised for nursery roads and buildings. The forum has a precise collection of germplasm and exotic material from all the coffee growing countries including Ethopia, the home land of Arabica. Since inception, the institute has treasured a wide range of species of shade trees under which coffee is grown thus preserving the ecology. Diversification is being intensified and the diversified crops like pepper and areca are fast becoming an appreciable source of income to the institute. The forum has good water source of different points and recognizing the advantages, check dams have been constructed to impound sufficient quantity of water. Construction of few more are on the anvil. As is the case in coffee plantations, the farm at CCRI too has nature in its pristine beauty further embellished by a rich presence of flora and fauna.
There are about 60 scientific and technical personnel who are involved in carrying out research in various disciplines. The farm has a total strength of 127 workmen comprising 99 Mazdoors and 28 Non-staff and Maistries.