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Owning a tea or coffee estate in Nilgiris is a pride

The Plantation Story

The first coffee estate was planted by M.D. Cockburn in 1843, in Kanhutty. Regular planting took off soon after and several plantations were opened. But planting seems to have been around for years before that. Several small attempts were made around the area, with Pope and Magrath opening in Kotagiri, M.D. Cockburn on the Kotagiri ghat, his son George Cockburn in Kotagiri, and Bannerman and Haldwell in Totapolliam.

The first tea plantation however owes its existence to a lady, the daughter of M.D. Cockburn, who opened an estate in 1863, followed by Kodanad. Tea soon took over, and coffee growing was given up. There was a steady growth of tea planting. By the end of the 19th century, it was in around 3000 acres (12 km²), and today it is almost 30,000 acres (120 km²).

Kotagiri has seen the growth of many hi tech cut flower farms in the past three years. Many enterprising farmers have put up climate controlling greenhouses in which high value flowers are grown, carnations, liliums and gerbera thrive in this environ.
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