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Eco-friendly Coffee - Book by Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira
Review by John B. Monteiro - Mangalore

Magnum Opus on Eco-friendly Coffee

 
“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.” - Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth U S President (1809- 1865).
 
When Lincoln politely demanded good coffee or tea, he was not concerned with the conditions under which these beverages were produced in the first place; rather, his concern was with their correct brewing. Today’s concerns go to the roots at the growing level. With increasing use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides, there is a movement now to go back to natural fertilizers and wholesome cultivation practices. That explains the title of the book under review: Ecofriendly Coffee by Anand T. Pereira and Geeta N. Pereira. They have impressive degrees and hands-on work qualifications to write this magnum opus on their selected subject. Dr. Anand Titus Pereira is Ph. D. In microbiology while Geeta Nanaiah Pereira Is M. S.(US) in horticulture. The full title of the book is Shade Grown Eco Friendly Coffee - Volume 1 (2009)


 
The husband and wife co-authors own a coffee farm, Joe’s Sustainable Farm, in Sakleshpur Taluk of Hassan District of Karnataka – on the foothill of Western Ghats of India. Western Ghats is recognized as one of the 18 hotspots of the world known for its biodiversity. The co-authors have worked diligently on sustainable technologies for the past 20 years and have come out with various practical recommendations which are of great benefit for coffee farmers. Over the years, the farm has been a model for both Indian and foreign farmers. They are regular contributors to ineedcoffee.com and periodically present lectures on the intrinsic value of shade-grown coffee.



The authors have successfully adopted rain water harvesting techniques and have developed state of the art rain gun sprinkler system with the help of Israeli and Indian technology. The farm has multiple crops like coffee, arecanut, pepper, banana, ginger, orange and rice. Many foreigners visit the farm and seek technical help in setting up coffee estates.
 
The content of this book has undergone agnipariksha of being subjected to peer group scrutiny through publication, in the form of learned research papers, in the niche website ineedcoffee.com and other learned platforms. The forty chapters of the volume being reviewed are clubbed under broad subjects like Overview, Water, Ecology, Microbiology, Nutrient Dynamics, Physiology and Miscellaneous – the last covering orange as intercrop and global warming.
 
As the authors note, the treatise presented in this volume has three directions of special emphasis. First, to develop the coffee farmer’s reliance on the working knowledge of horticulture, microbiology and allied sciences in understanding the basis of growing economically sound and ecologically safe coffee. Second: to help connoisseurs of coffee worldwide to appreciate the significance of shade-grown coffee and its positive impact on ecology. Third: to organise the subject to make it more nearly representative of modern science in the laboratory and in the field for students from various disciplines of science. The authors claim that in preparing the volume they were struck by two special characteristics in the “manner of change in our science of growing and consuming coffee”. They note that more and more farmers are adapting the low external input and sustainable form of agriculture compared to the highly intensive chemical mode. The second is the consumer’s choice for shade-grown, eco-friendly coffee which brings forth the taste of nature in the cupping quality.
 
In his foreword, Prof. Dr. P. Tauro, retired Dean, Post-graduate School, Haryana Agricultural University, says that the authors “have demonstrated innovative and highly efficient approaches in developing a sustainable coffee ecosystem, providing coffee farmers with tools to compete in the world marketplace. This integrated approach elevates quality at all levels of the value chain so that everyone benefits.” Commending the volume, Dr. (Sr.) Marie Prem D’Souza A. C., Principal, St. Agnes College, Mangalore, observes: “It is creditable indeed that these young scientists have devoted much time, knowledge and expertise to the unraveling of mysteries hidden in nature.”

Coffee is the starting point to seamlessly to lead the reader beyond the realm of beans to a number of commercially viable and profitable intercrops which can help the planter to withstand the vagaries of fluctuating coffee yield and swings in world coffee prices. There is also a bonus, backed by colour photos, in the form of coverage of the rich fauna and flora of the Western Ghats.

“A picture is a poem without words.” – Cornificus.

“A picture is worth ten thousand words.” – Chinese proverb.

If we go by the above, we have poems running through 550 pages, from cover to cover. With about 1,000 sharp, well-composed colour photos, beautifully reproduced on high-end, heavy art paper, figure out what it adds up to by the pages of this volume. These photos blend with the text and some of them have cryptic identifications. Though the authors may assume that the photos are self-explanatory and make sense in their textual context, it would have added value to the volume if each photo had individual caption giving popular and scientific names.
 
There is something for everybody in this volume. The history of coffee and its introduction and progress in India should be of interest for persons even beyond the planting community. So are four chapters under “Water” – soil water conservation, rain water harvesting, the fine art of irrigation and rain guns – the future of sprinkler irrigation. The last one is adequately illustrated with photos and drawings so that any do-it-yourself enthusiast can go ahead without further ado. Though the authors have skipped the conventional index, which seems irrelevant in this case, they have thoughtfully included ten pages of “Coffee Terminology” which should be helpful to non-coffee-culture novices.
 
 Co-authoring or multi-authoring is an intriguing process involving decisions on who would supply full stops and commas. There is also politics wherein the research guides or heads of departments (queen bees) top the list of authors leaving the hands-on researchers and writers (worker bees) to take the hindmost. In the present case, the division of work (or is it labour of love?) between the co-authors had been on the basis of their specializations. Geeta has worked on heat stress mechanisms and the physiology that governs the biochemical constituents of the coffee bush. Anand has specialized on the microbial ecology of the coffee forests.
 
To sum up the review, this volume is a storehouse of authoritative knowledge on the subject covered as also a fountain as the chapters have a string of references which will take the interested reader on a never-ending scholastic trail. Thee days, expensively produced books, specially on art, end up as coffee table books. This book eminently qualifies for a place in the drawing room as its title itself claims the space.


Now to some home truths. You need strong limbs to handle this 3+ kg weighty volume. I kept it flat on the table and got a pain in the neck as I had to bend over it to suit my executive bifocals. Then I remembered a book on Maharajas that I reviewed decades ago. There was a corpulent Maharaja who was expected to give a male progeny to continue the dynasty, but had mating problems as his dainty maharani could not bear his weighty body. Then the courtiers studied the mating habit of elephants and built a ramp in the royal bedroom with required exit holes. And it worked! So, I brought my wife’s (crosswords) Random House Webster Unabridged Dictionary (2330 pages; but weighing only 4 kg because of its flimsy paper) and made a ramp to rest the Ecofriendly Coffee volume in a readable slanted position. So, I have given a hint on how to handle this book!
 
Finally, if this review has whetted your appetite for the book, head for your computer and e-mail anandpereira9@gmail.com. It may be an impediment for those who are not computer-savvy or having no credit card or electronic money transfer facilities. But, this mode of direct transaction seems to help the authors to peg the price down at Rs. 5,000 net (postage included in India). This, the authors claim, helps them to pass on as consumer’s surplus part of the money that would have otherwise gone to trade intermediaries. For foreign prospects, there is a dollar price that would be determined through e-mail depending on the country.
 
“That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed with profit.” –Amos Bronson Alcott, US philosopher (1799-1888). For me, this book met Alcott’s criteria.
 
[John B. Monteiro, author and journalist, is editor of his website www.welcometoreason.com (Interactive Cerebral Challenger).]

Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira's articles on Daijiworld:

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Comments on this article
KARIAPPA THIMAYA UDDAPANDA, AMMATHI S KODAGUFriday, March 11, 2016
Kindly let me know where the Book
The eco friendly coffee text book and i would also like to visit your coffee estate
Comment on this message     

vishal mehta, chikmangalurWednesday, April 02, 2014
hi,
could someone kindly tell me where to buy this book? i have looked for it online everywhere and a few stores in Bangalore too. :)
Comment on this message     

Dr. P. P. Joy, Kummanode, EKMThursday, January 23, 2014
Excited to receive a surprise call today from my long cherished classmate & friend Dr. Anand Titus Pereira. Very proud to know that he and his wife Geeta N. Pereira together authored an excellent informative book 'Eco-friendly Coffee'for the benefit of all concerned with coffee and nature. Their ardent love for nature and sheer dedication to sustainable eco-friendly farming add beauty to this piece of wonderful work. A good beginning. The best is yet to come. Look forward to meeting them soon and see the best.
Comment on this message     

harshith devaladakere, sakleshpurThursday, August 30, 2012
i personally thank and congratulate dr anand and geeta for their extensive research in coffee culture...!!!i learnt a lot from it and it helped me a lot in generating an article on irrigation in coffee plantations for my college magazine...wish u all the best for your future research works and request you to add few more colourfull feathers to the technology that is helping planters grow and market coffee in a better way!!!!with regards
Comment on this message     

thilak, sakleshpurMonday, June 11, 2012
hi,
i ve heard a lot about your book.
where can i get a copy of it.
and can i come visit your estate...
i ve come to s'pur this year to look after my coffee estate.
Comment on this message     

Mayur, pollibetta coorgThursday, April 05, 2012
Have read a lot about Dr anand & geetha,looking forward to meet them & have a look at their plantation,also intrested in their book, want to have a hands down explanation of their new sprinkler system,heard they were in coorg for some simposium but missed it.
NB need their contact no
Comment on this message     

Prashanth Muddaiah, Ammathi S.KodaguSunday, February 12, 2012
It was amazing to hear Dr.Anand at the coffee convection at Ammathi. Please help me as i have a 35HP S4 sprinkler engine with a suitable Premier Pump with which i use 6 ZM22 premier sprinklers Please could you advice a more suitable sprinkler as we all know the labour shortage we are going through in Coffee industry. My estate has about 5 to 8 trees per acre. as of now i use 4" main line & 3" lateral lines. Waiting for a reply. With regards
Comment on this message     

sheeraz mohammed, chikmagalurTuesday, January 24, 2012
sheeraz mohammed & Sunil baptist congratulate for the phenomenal success of coffee encyclopedia eco-friendly coffee book
and also india's greatest irrigation system at kerehully estate.
Comment on this message     

Devinder Sharma, New DelhiMonday, February 07, 2011
Congratulations for bringing out a book on ecofriendly coffee. I haven't yet bought the book but am now going to look for it. I think coffee lovers would look forward to the day when their daily cup of coffee in the morning could be free of pesticides and harmful chemicals.
Comment on this message     

Dr.J.Balakrishna, BangaloreThursday, November 18, 2010
Hi, Congrats! Keep up your venture! Hope to meet you at Global Alumni Meet.
Comment on this message     

anitha muralidharan, madikeriSunday, February 28, 2010
Congratualtions Anand and Geetha. Very important informations of eco-friendly coffee. It's great job done.
Comment on this message     

Umesh P, BangaloreTuesday, October 06, 2009
Eager to meet them, need their contact information. Please let me know ASAP
Comment on this message     

Basanna. H.R., Sakleashpur/AnemahalSunday, October 04, 2009
The excellent informative reference book has come out due to shear dedication and love towards the nature of this young couple Dr.Anand Pereira and Mrs.Gheetha Pereira. The continuous abusing of eco-system by mankind will make many flora and fauna to be extinct. Dr.Anand’s superb photographs of flora and fauna of India’s coffee plantations will be a treasure to future generation.Sustainable farming system for balanced eco-system seems to be the theme of the book.Congratulations for the accompishment.
Comment on this message     

JUDE FANTON, AUSTRALIATuesday, September 15, 2009
Dear Anand and Geeta I am so impressed by everything about your book. Including the amusing parts of the review! I also look at your website when you remind me! And sometimes to show folks who know nothing of shade and coffee going together!
Comment on this message     

Ramanand, Florida/U.S.AMonday, September 14, 2009
Seeing is believing. We had the pleasure of spending time with Geeta and Anand on their ecofriendly coffee farm and every page of the book is a reflection of their dedicated work . Congrats and a special thanks to John for reviewing the book.
Comment on this message     

Leona Pais, PuneSunday, September 13, 2009
Dr Anand & Geeta,As usual you have been providing excellent articles for Daiji but this time i was very impressed to read about you book,Thank you John fro reviewing the Eco Friendly Coffee Book.
Comment on this message     

Nelu Balan, RomaniaSunday, September 13, 2009
Dr Anand & Geeta,I have been informed about the book & Ii have gone through the contents through my friend,It is indeed an excellently compiled book with all your knowledge collected in decades of your time,All the best & Thank you John B. Monteiro
Comment on this message     

Phillip, AustraliaSunday, September 13, 2009
Dr Anand.The book presented to me is excellent & the photography is very powerfull,The pictures it self speak,I managed to get a copy of this book in Dubai.I am now in Queens Land Australia & use it in my farm.
Comment on this message     

David, CanadaSunday, September 13, 2009
Dr Anand,The book that i have purchased is excellent & i have taken all the trouble to take it from Australia to Canada that Allen had presented it to me in Adelaide,Thank you John B. Monteiro for reviewing the book.
Comment on this message     

wilson monteiro, bankal-chikmagalurSunday, September 13, 2009
this book gives a beautiful insight into the role the coffee estates play in maintaining the biodiversity of the western ghats. i congratulate anand and geetha for the tremendous mental and physical effort they have put to bring out this book. anand had foresight into the big role the climate change was going to play in coffee cultivation. a man of vision and dedication. good luck my friend.
Comment on this message     

aveen rodrigues, melkodige estate , javaliFriday, September 11, 2009
this book gives a beautiful insight into the role the coffee estates play in maintaining the biodiversity of the western ghats. i congratulate anand and geetha for the tremendous mental and physical effort they have put to bring out this book. anand had foresight into the big role the climate change was going to play in coffee cultivation. a man of vision and dedication. good luck my friend.
Comment on this message     

pavithra and Prem, virajpetThursday, September 10, 2009
Well authored book. Splendid illustrations. We loved it.
Comment on this message     

Naveen Frank, Mangalore/SharjahFriday, September 11, 2009
Dear Anand and Geeta, I must admit, when I first glanced at your well researched book, I did not understand head nor tail of it. But as Albert Einstein''s wife said when the media asked her about her husband''s theory of relavitity, " I understand nothing of it but I trust him a 100 percent" , I have no doubt in your expertise in this field. Thank you John Monteiro for going that extra mile to make known this great piece of work to the world.
Comment on this message     

VEERESH, CHIKMAGALURThursday, September 10, 2009
I have visited Anands coffee plantation and it is indeed a model farm full of innovations. I already own a copy of the book and it is a must for all Planters to learn and understand various aspects of coffee cultivation.
Comment on this message     

RAKESH , SAKLESHPURThursday, September 10, 2009
I own a copy of the ecofriendly coffee book. As a Planter i would like to confidently state that Geeta and Anand have walked the talk by demonstrating various ecofriendly technologies inside their coffee estate. In my opinion Planters will save tons of money by simply adapting their time tested technologies. I also take this opportunity to thank Mr.John Monteiro for reviewing this beautiful book. Thanks to Daiji world too.
Comment on this message     

shilpa ansd sharat, south coorgThursday, September 10, 2009
I have a copy of this exclusive dosseier on coffee. This book projects the importance of coffee estates and its contribution to the nature. We planters feel exhilerated when we read this book.
Comment on this message     

Rajeshwari ballal, sakleshpurThursday, September 10, 2009
I have seen the book. It is a great piece of work. Every person who has a cuppa of coffee should get this book.
Comment on this message     

Ivan Frank, MangaloreThursday, September 10, 2009
Mr. Monteiro rightly says " this volume is a storehouse of authoritative knowledge on the subject covered as also a fountain as the chapters have a string of references which will take the interested reader on a never-ending scholastic trail." Beautiful Pictures and excellent illustrations. A must for a layman as well as for a professional and libraries. Another plus point is that you will develop strong limbs by the time you finish reading this volume which I believe is 3 kg. So you will sve the money of going to the Gym.
Comment on this message     

Liza Gina Pais, MysoreThursday, September 10, 2009
Dear John B. Monteiro,Thank you for reveiwing the Eco Friendly Coffee Book,I have used the book in school during a Eco Friendly presentation,The book is very helpfull & when ever the topic in school comes on Eco system i use the book for references,Thank you on recognising the Eco Friendly Coffee Book-Liza Gina Pais-Mysore
Comment on this message     

Milan Biddappa, karadigoduThursday, September 10, 2009
This book is very informative and useful for coffee lovers and growers. A great gift to the coffee world.
Comment on this message     

Allen.J.Pais, SiddapurThursday, September 10, 2009
Dear John B. Monteiro,Thank you for reveiwing the Eco Friendly Coffee Book,I have been one of the first buyer of the book,The book has been revolved round the globe,Australia,America,Middle East region,Asia Pacific Region & i have personally carried it along with me during my travel,There has been very good responce from all the well wishers,It has also helped me in my Coffee cultivation work in Siddapur,You have been more than kind to review the book & give hte book a fitting recognition,I also thank Dr Anand & Geeta for taking all the trouble for years in generating such a lovely book.Regards-Allen Pais(Houstan)
Comment on this message     

Dr Suma Shetty, mangaloreThursday, September 10, 2009
My school going children enjoyed the book. It is a good reference book for students. We get a chance to understand nature at its best. good job anand and Geeta.
Comment on this message     

nachaiah madhu, siddapurThursday, September 10, 2009
This book is wonderful for a planter and also others. The wealth of knowledge is immense and very useful.
Comment on this message     

ANIL DSOUZA, DUBAI/MANGALORE/CHICKMAGLURWednesday, September 09, 2009
This is a book for coofee growers as well as the lay man. To the former it serves as a fountain of knowledge since being a planter has no formal training. To the latter it demystifies your cuppa.
Comment on this message     

marjorie texeira, mangaloreWednesday, September 09, 2009
I have bought this book. It is like an encyclopedia for coffee lovers.It is a coffee table book to be kept in every house.
Comment on this message     

v.baretto, Bantwal-BangaloreWednesday, September 09, 2009
Beautiful photographs and naturally the contents of the book must be worthy to read. Congratulations Anand and Geetha for this venture. I have been following your articles on coffee,being a Coffee man of Ossoor Estates for over 46 yrs.
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