By 1993, something else was brewing. I had already accumulated about 3,000 acres of plantation by then. Back in 1985, when I had started buying plantations, it sounded like a no-brainer – coffee prices averaged around $1.20 for 17 long years between 1970-85. In a frost year, it would hit $3 and if you had a bumper crop it would fall to 75 cents. But Indian farmers were getting only 35 cents because we were not allowed to export directly. If this changed at some point, the realisation would go up phenomenally – the payback could happen in a year’s time. I went with my gut and kept buying bit by bit.
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