Since coffee is a perennial crop, germinating is only done when farmers need to plant a new crop, which means about once in about 20 years. Seeds with their mucilage removed are pre-germinated. Then, the seedlings are grown in nursery beds or plastic bags containing soil made of cattle manure and phosphate fertilizers. About six months afterwards, when they are about 20cm tall, they are planted in the fields.
Farmers can also obtain plants for the new crop via vegetative propagation. This means cloning the plant from tissues of existing plants. Biotechnology is being applied to create new cultivars.
First of all, the farmers need to select a suitable site for planting. Site selection depends on the type of coffee and the environmental conditions of the sites. Arabica grows well in sub-tropical regions which have well-defined rain-dry seasons and an altitude of 1000 - 2000m. Robusta grows in the equatorial region, at a much lower altitude: 0 - 700m. Slope is another important criterion for selection: steep hills help to avoid flooding but may hinder maintaining and harvesting the crop. The site is carefully selected taking into account all these requirements.
Once the plantation site has been identified, the farmers clear the area of weed. Subsequently, the planting holes are dug and the seedlings are planted.
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.
Coffee Research Institute
The International Coffee Organization
Rombouts Cyber Coffee Shop
Stairway to Coffee