Maintaining the Crop
After planting, the farmers need to maintain the plants. Since coffee is a perennial crop, the crop has to be carefully maintained for several years. Crop maintenance is very time consuming and involves many steps including:
Irrigation: This labor intensive job is only needed in certain areas to supplement annual rainfall
Applying fertilizers: The type of plantation, the type of plant and the quality of soil determine which type of fertilizers should be applied and how frequent. In general, fertilizers supply nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) which are needed for plant growth, and other micronutrients, such as iron (Fe). They are applied about three times a year. Fertilizers are essential to keeping the plants healthy and also preventing the onset of diseases that have the potential to decrease annual coffee yield.
- Pruning: This is one of the most time-consuming activities. The goal of pruning is to remove shoots which absorb too much nutrient, branches that are susceptible to diseases, or branches that are simply unproductive. Pruning also helps maintain the physical size and appearance of the bush to make it more suitable for harvest. Pruning is a year long activity, however, it is done more frequently before harvesting.
Fighting diseases and pests: Apart from diseases caused by nutrition deficiency, both Arabica and Robusta can suffer from a range of diseases caused by insect pests, fungi, virus or bacteria. Some of the most common, and most destructive diseases are:
Weeding: Weeds can grow very quickly if left un-checked. The weeds compete with the coffee plant for nutrients, water and light. They also harbour insects and pests which may spread to the coffee plant. A proper weed control strategy should be established along with planting.
Cutting the old plants: Coffee plants are usually considered unproductive when they reach ten years of age. At this stage, the plant should be cut approximately 20cm above the ground level to allow for regrowth. This plant can be expected to yield its first harvest two years later.
Dr. Pereira and M.S. Pereira talks to us about fertilisers.
- Soil Water Conservation
Dr. Pereira and M.S. Pereira talks to us about soil water conservation.
- Coffee Waste
Dr. Pereira and M.S. Pereira talks to us about coffee waste.
Mr. ©Michiel Kuit
Expert on coffee farming
Local Project Co-ordinator "Public Private Parnership" (PPP) project "Improvement of Coffee Quality and Sustainability of Coffee Production in Vietnam"
Khom 1 TT Khe Sanh, Huong Hoa, Quang Tri, Vietnam
Mr. Nguyen Van Chinh
Farming extension officer in Quang Tri Province.
Stairway to Coffee
Coffee Research Institute
Rombouts Cyber Coffee Shop
On the Road to Quality. Made by Kraft foods Germany, Vietnam Coffee Cocoa Association (VICOFA) and Dtsch. Gesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit (Gtz).