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Wild plants of most species of Coffea are components of the understorey of tropical forests in Africa. Whereas many forms of C. canephora can be found in the equatorial lowland forests from Guinea to Uganda, the centre of genetic diversity of C. arabica is restricted to the south-western highlands of Ethiopia. Most of the coffee plants distributed to Asia and Latin America were of C. arabica var. arabica, usually called typica (syn.: C. arabica var. typica Cramer).

The stimulating effect of the coffee beverage is largely derived from the alkaloid caffeine, but cured beans have to be roasted and finely ground to bring out the characteristic coffee aroma. Over the last 40 years, instant coffee as soluble powder, prepared by dehydrating extracts of roast and ground coffee, has become a very important commodity. Globally, about 20% of all coffees are consumed as instant coffee. Although arabica coffee gives a beverage of better quality, robustas are in great demand by the instant coffee industry because of the higher yields of soluble solids. About 10% of the world's exportable coffee is decaffeinated. Coffee pulp and parchment are applied as manure and mulch.
Ecology and planting
Arabica coffee requires an average daily temperature of 18-22°C with a maximum not exceeding 30°C. This restricts its cultivation to high altitudes in equatorial (0-7°N/S) areas (1,000-2,100 m) or lower altitudes (300-1,100 m) further from the equator, as in India, Vietnam, Thailand, and South America. Robusta coffee is well adapted to the warm and humid equatorial climates with average temperatures of 22-26°C, minimum not below 10°C at altitudes of 100-800 m, and well-distributed annual rainfall of 2,000 mm or more. Young plants of 7-15 months old are planted in the field. Various spacing and rows (right lines and squares) are used in densities of 1,300-2,800 trees/ ha for arabica and 1,100-1,400 trees/ ha for robusta coffee. High density planting (3,300-5,000 trees/ha) by some cultivars is applied in Latin America and East Africa.
Mycorrhiza & Bio-fertilizers
Positive effects of mycorrhiza on growth and beans yield of coffee was proved in pot and field experiments. Expected increase of yield is 15%. Treated plants should show reduced mortality at planting v in the field and also higher resistance to soil borne diseases and less susceptibility to drought. Application of mycorrhizal inocula Symbivit® may be done at propagation stage in the nursery or inoculum may be applied together with biofertilizer when outplanting from nursery in the field. Mycorrhiza and biofertilizer treatment increases sustainability of plantation and reduces needs of fertilizers application by 50% within the first two years after planting.
Recommended products:
Symbivit: mycorrhizal product
Conavit: slow release fertlizer

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More details:
Info sheet Coffee [PDF]