Tata Coffee Limited – Research & Development department was established in the year 1982. It provides support functions to all aspects of plantation such as agronomy, mitigating climate change, post-harvest processing in preserving the intrinsic quality of plantation products and assisting the estates in certifications to validate our cultural operations on par with International Standards.
The department works coherently with its mission to develop improved technologies or solutions for sustainable and effective production of quality coffee, pepper and other allied products adopting green process at an economical cost.
R & D functions as the backbone of coffee industry and extends facilitation in all respect. The dedicated team, headed by Dr. P. Kurian Raphael, specializes in Soil Science & Agricultural Chemistry, Agronomy, Agricultural, Entomology, Microbiology & Pathology, Plant Breeding & Genetics, Apiculture and Zoology.
Every year, an annual R&D Day – Inventica is held, where updates on research are discussed and new ‘Need of hour Projects’ are undertaken to improvise on ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ and utilization of unit area profit through crop diversification.
There is a vast set of strategic objectives that the department works on. For instance, maintaining soil fertility for sustainable productivity of coffee, pepper and allied crops, through routine - ‘Annual Soil Analysis’, leaf analysis for identification of limiting micronutrient, fertilizer quality analysis, monitoring microbial quality for pepper export, crop diversification, apiculture and pisciculture.
Apart from these, a lot of research goes on simultaneously to deliver efficient results – for plant protection and enhancing composting process, yielding less hazardous arabica coffee, coffee replanting methods, clonal propagation of coffee through root trainers, pepper pro cloners, tope grafting and monitoring applications such as IRIS for real-time overseeing of weather, pest, disease incidence and QR code for elite plant survey.
To help with the research and new trends in this sector, a routine activity, where training and knowledge sharing both in-house and with customers, is done regularly. This includes bringing in coffee farmers and planters to contribute on updates regarding current or new trends in cultivation practices, pest, disease management and post-harvest technology. Training programs are conducted on critical cultural operations for estate personnel and monthly advisory circulars are issued to estates.
Tata Coffee Limited – R&D has been recognized by Department of Scientific and Industrial Technology, Govt. of India for strictly following the laid protocols and abiding by the SOP.