Beverages and Stimulants
soil and climatic requirements for Arabica and Robusta
varieties are as follows:
m above MSL
m above MSL
both cases, soil should be deep, friable, and rich in
organic matter with a pH of 6.0-6.5.
can be propagated by seed and vegetative means.
It is desirable to collect seeds from biclonal or polyclonal
seed gardens involving superior self-incompatible parents
to ensure genetic superiority of planting materials.
Polyclonal and biclonal seed gardens have been established
at CCRP farm of the Kerala Agricultural University,
Vellanikkara and Kidu farm of CPCRI and seeds and seedlings
are being supplied to growers. If seeds cannot be procured
from such seed gardens, mother plants for collection
of seeds may be selected based on the following criteria:
Trees of Forastero type having medium or large pods
of not less than 350 g weight or 400 cc volume, green
in colour when immature, having smooth or shallow furrows
on the surface without prominent constriction at the
neck should be selected. Yield of pods should be not
less than 100 per year.
(2) Husk thickness of pods to be not more than 1 cm.
(3) Pod value (number of pods to give 1 kg wet beans)
to be not more than 12.
(4) Number of beans per pod to be not less than 35.
(5) Bean dry weight to be not less than 1 g.
lose viability within a week of harvest of pods. Seeds
are to be sown immediately after extraction from the
pods. Viability of the beans can be extended for some
more days if freshly extracted seeds are stored in moist
charcoal and packed in polybags. Other alternative is
extracting beans, removing the testa and packing in
Selection of planting materials
When seedlings are used for planting, select only vigorous
and healthy seedlings produced from polyclonal seed
garden or selected mother plants as described earlier.
When budded plants are used, select two or more clones
for planting as the use of a single clone can lead to
poor production due to the existence of self-incompatibility
three varietal types viz., Criollo, Forastero and
Trinitario are recognized, only Forastero types are
known to perform well under Indian conditions. Breeding
work initiated at the Kerala Agricultural University
since 1979 has resulted in the release of seven improved
clones of Forastero type. These are CCRP 1, CCRP 2,
CCRP 3, CCRP 4, CCRP 5, CCRP 6 and CCRP 7. These improved
clones are suitable for cultivation in different cocoa
growing tracts of the country and also in the warm
tropical areas especially under the shade of coconut.
All these clones are tolerant to vascular streak dieback
and have yield potential in the range from 55 to 180
pods per tree per year and mean yield from 38 to 78
pods per tree per year. During 2002, three hybrids
viz., CCRP 8, CCRP 9 and CCRP 10 were released. These
have mean yields of 90, 105 and 79 pods per tree per
year. These are also tolerant to vascular streak dieback
is highly cross pollinated and growing of different
varieties adjacent to each other must be encouraged
so as to achieve maximum fruit set and yield realization.
If it is a jungle, only selective felling of trees is
done maintaining the trees, which are desirable at appropriate
spacing. The under growth may be cleared to enable line
marking with a base line and opening of pits. The entire
plot may be conveniently divided into blocks with roads
April, pits of 45 x 45 x 45 cm may be opened at appropriate
spacing for different coffee cultivars as described
arabica like S 795, S 288: 2.1 m x 2.1 m
Semi-dwarfs like Cauvery: 1.8 m x 1.8 m
Dwarfs like S 7 (San Ramon): 1.5 m x 1.5 m
Hybrids like Congensis x Robusta (CxR): 2.5 m x 2.5
Robusta selections like S 274, BR series: 3.0 m x 3.0
pits after digging will be kept open for weathering
for a couple of months until monsoon. In June, the pits
are covered with topsoil and staked. In poor soils,
250 g of FYM or compost per pit may be added before
Old arabica varieties like Kents and Coorgs are more
susceptible to the leaf rust disease (Hemileia vastatrix).
Arabica selections of tall, medium and dwarf habit are
grown on large scale because of their proven performance
in yield and comparatively better resistance to leaf
rust disease. In dwarfs, San Ramon (S 7, 7.1, 7.2 and
7.3) and in medium size bushes, Cauvery (Catimor) are
the popular varieties. Some of the arabica slections
like Sln 5, 6 and 7 are location specific while S.795
(tall) is adapted to all areas. All the arabica selections
either have vertical resistance to commonly occurring
races of H. vastatrix or both horizontal and vertical
resistance as in Sln.5 and 9. Robustas are not infested
either with leaf rust disease or the white stem borer
pest, which are more on record in arabica. However,
mealy bug incidence will be more in robusta.
In coffee, generally the propagation is done through
seeds and of late in robusta, the clonal propagation
was also established to be successful. To a limited
extent, grafted plants are also being planted.
the selected and certified seed blocks, healthy and
fully matured fruits of normal appearance with three
quarters of ripening are harvested selectively from
the marked plants during November-December in the case
of arabicas and in January-February in robustas. Discarding
the floats, the sound fruits are pulped and sieved to
remove the defective beans. The beans are then mixed
with wood ash @ 0.75 kg per kg of seeds and dried under
shade stirring from time to time to facilitate uniform
drying. To protect the seeds against any microbial infection,
the seeds are treated with either carbendazim @ 1 g
or with vitavax @ 0.66 g per kg of seed coffee.
bed (primary): Seeds are sown in raised seed beds (15
cm above the ground level) provided with proper drainage
prepared out of soil, compost and sand at 6:2:1 proportion.
A bed of 4 x 3 m will be sufficient for 1.5 kg of seeds,
if sown 1.0 to 1.5 cm apart in rows, with the flat side
of the seed towards the soil. A thin layer of soil is
spread after sowing and covered with dry straw to a
thickness of about 5 cm to ensure uniform temperature
and to regulate moisture retention. Sowing is to be
taken up in December-January for arabica and in February-March
for Robusta. Watering of the seed beds is to be done
twice a day in the initial week and thereafter regulated.
The seeds sprout in about 40 days when the straw mulch
is removed. The primary beds are provided with pandal
covered with coir mats or dry leaves.
(basket) nursery: Seedlings from germination beds are
transplanted to polythene bags in Feb-March when they
are at the 'button' stage. Polythene bags of 23 cm x
15 cm and 150 gauge thickness with adequate number of
holes of 3 mm in the bottom half of the bag are preferred.
The bags are filled with prepared mixture of 6 parts
of sieved jungle soil, 2 parts of well rotten sieved
cattle manure and 1 part of fine sand. The prepared
mixture is thoroughly mixed and slightly moistened with
water to facilitate packing. The soil is filled into
the nursery baskets and pressed firm. Nursery baskets
are arranged conveniently in rows of 10 within a rectangular
frame with bamboo reapers. These frames are held in
positions with bamboo or wooden props driven into the
ground at suitable distance.
seedlings at the button stage are transplanted into
nursery baskets. The seedlings are gently lifted from
the germination beds with minimum injury to roots. Prior
to transplanting, the nursery basket is watered and
a vertical hole of 5 cm deep is made in the soil at
the centre of the basket. At the time of transplanting
it is preferable to slightly nip off the taproot of
the seedling. The taproot and the feeder roots should
be so disposed as to enable the plant to strike roots
and make firm growth as quickly as possible. The shoot
portion of the transplanted seedling should be at the
same height above soil level as it was in the germination
bed. Transplanting is done preferably in the early morning
hours or late in the afternoon. Seedlings uprooted from
the primary bed should not be stored for a long time
but transplanted immediately.
watering and aftercare of the seedlings should follow.
Excess moisture and watering in the afternoon should
be avoided as it may induce damping off.
some areas, seedlings from the germination beds are
transplanted to secondary nursery beds of the same soil
composition as that of germination beds. Transplanting
is done at button stage. Seedlings are planted 30 cm
apart. If the taproot is bent or excessively grown,
it is nipped off while transplanting. The beds are mulched
and watered at regular intervals. Watering should be
done during the early morning hours.
Seedlings are to be manured once in two months with
urea dissolved in water or supernatant solution of fermented
cowdung slurry. For an area of 1 m2, 20 g urea dissolved
in 4.5 litres water is sufficient. Adequate protection
is given against nursery diseases and pests. Overhead
shade in the nursery has to be thinned and finally removed
after the onset of monsoon (this is not applicable to
northeastern areas). The seedlings grow vigorously if
watered judiciously and protected against afternoon
Disease free and vigorous seedlings are selected for
planting. Seedlings with stunted and twisted roots are
discarded. Rooted plants (aged 16-18 months) with and
without ball are planted during June and bag plants
are generally planted during Sept- Oct. A hole is made
at the centre of the pit after leveling the soil. The
seedling is placed in the hole with its taproot and
lateral roots spread out in proper position. The hole
is then filled. The soil around the seedling is packed
3 cm high above the ground to prevent stagnation of
water around the collar. The seedlings are provided
with cross stakes to prevent wind damage and mulched
and bag seedlings are planted towards the end of the
heavy monsoon rains and commencement of northeast rains,
i.e., in September. First the bottom portion of the
bag is cut and the tip of the root is nipped. The seedling
is gently removed from the bag with its soil and root
system intact and planted in the hole. The hole is covered
with soil and the plant is firmly fixed similar to ball
plants. It is wise to maintain both types of nurseries
and have planting seasons, June and September.
is commonly used as a lower canopy shade. Stakes of
2 m length are planted for every two plants of coffee.
Silver oak and dadap are planted during June when the
southwest monsoon commences. During the dry seasons,
stems of young dadap are either painted with dilute
lime solution or wrapped in agave leaves to protect
them from sun scorch.
In the case of robusta, which is highly cross pollinated
clonal propagation is more adaptable. In the case of
arabica, the stabilization of desirable characters in
the selected plants could be easily maintained by adopting
clonal or vegetative propagation method. The vertical
(orthotropic) shoots are marked after harvest is over
in any selected plant. Single node green wood (semi-hardwood)
cutting of 10 cm length and 3 to 6 months old are planted
in polythene bags with the medium of jungle soil, sand
and cattle manure in the proportion of 6:3:1. The bags
with cuttings are arranged in a propagation chamber
made of a trench of size 2 x 1 x 0.5 m covered over
with a thick polythene sheet (500 gauge) spread over
a framework of bamboos.
A trench could accommodate about 108 filled up bags
of size 22 x 15 cm. Preplanting treatment of the base
of cutting with IBA (indole butyric acid) at 5000 ppm
enhances early rooting. Under South Indian conditions,
cuttings collected during June-July recorded the highest
per cent of rooting. Cuttings will root in 3-4 months
after planting. Rooted cuttings should be hardened by
keeping them under shade for about two months and then
can be transplanted into the field.
The plant is trained either on single stem or multiple
stem system. Under South Indian conditions periodical
handling and pruning are essential. The type and frequency
of pruning have to be decided based on a number of factors
like the type of vegetative growth, incidence of pests
/ diseases, pattern of blossom showers etc. Centering
and desuckering are to be carried out for about 5 or
6 years after planting. Removal of the dead and whippy
wood is essential during the early years. Mature plants
may require medium to severe pruning once in four years.
coffee, both arabica and robusta, is trained on single
stem. When the plants reach a desired height of 75 cm
for arabica and 105-120 cm for robusta, they are topped
i.e., growing apex of the stem is severed. Low topping
(60-70 cm) is advocated in areas of severe wind and
exposure. Under certain circumstances, multiple stem
system is also adopted as in the case of replanted fields
or when under-planting is taken up keeping the old plants
under multiple stem system.
Dieback refers to death of younger tertiary branches
starting from apex progressing downwards as well as
dieback from below the tip of branches and proceeding
forward and backward from the point of defoliation.
The occurrence of dieback is mainly due to adverse climatic
and edaphic factors such as higher temperature, higher
light intensity and low moisture status of soil.
1. Removal of dead and whippy wood
2. Providing judicious shade by both temporary and permanent
shade trees as 70% of daylight is found to be optimum
3. Conservation of soil moisture with thick mulch
4. Foliar application of nutrients
5. Correcting the soil acidity by application of lime
and shade management
Dadap (Erythrina lithosperma) is generally used as a
lower canopy in India. It is always planted along with
coffee in new clearings. When stakes are planted in
June they grow quickly since sufficient moisture will
be there in the soil. In areas where the establishment
of dadap is difficult due to poor rooting, application
of rooting hormones and manuring have been found useful.
water is available, overhead irrigation by sprinkler
system is adopted to a greater advantage during November-January
to keep the soil moisture level and in February-April
for ensuring blossom as well as backing, if necessary.
management in coffee
Plants affected by drought limit vegetative growth,
show floral abnormalities and poor fruit set resulting
in reduced yield. Therefore, drought tolerance is
an important aspect of coffee productivity. Arabica
coffee is more tolerant to drought than robusta. For
inducing tolerance in robusta the following nutrient
solution can be sprayed @ 1 litre per plant.
in 200 litres of water
Urea 1 kg
Super phosphate 1 kg
Muriate of potash 750 g
Zinc sulphate 1 kg
spray: 45 days after the last rainfall (usually the
2nd fortnight of January)
2nd spray: 30-45 days after the first spray
application of anti-transpirants like Ralli Dhan 110
@ 200 ml in 200 litres of water (0.1%) is also useful
for drought management in coffee.
recommendation for coffee (N:P2O5:K2O, kg/ha)
and 3rd year
coffee 5 years and above: for less than 1 t/ha crop
1 t/ha and above
less than 1t/ha crop
1 t/ha and above
and other weeds should be eradicated in the first year
itself by digging or using appropriate weedicide depending
on the nature of the weeds. The soil around the seedlings
should be mulched properly and shade has to be provided
to individual seedlings to protect against direct sun.
berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei)
Coffee berry borer is the most serious pest of coffee
world over. The female beetle bores into the berries
through the navel region and makes tunnels in the hard
bean and lays about 15 eggs. The larvae feed on the
beans, making small tunnels.
A typical pinhole at the tip of the berries indicates
the presence of the pest, and it damages young as well
as ripe berries. In case of severe infestation, 30 to
80% berries may be affected resulting in heavy crop
loss. The coffee berry borer can be controlled by the
Timely and complete harvest, collection of gleanings,
burying the infested berries and maintaining optimum
shade and good drainage can control the pest.
stem borer (Xylotrechus quadripes)
The adults have two flight periods as they emerge from
the pupae during April-May and in September to December/January.
As the beetles are active and females lay eggs in the
crevices on the main stem of coffee, major efforts to
control initial laying of eggs itself is aimed at by
swabbing the main stem and the thick primaries with
carbaryl 50 WP @ 4 kg in 200 litres of water once or
twice (depending upon the severity of the incidence)
in April-May or October to December. Apart from this,
it is necessary to build up good shade and regularly
trace, uproot stump and burn the infested plants. Storing
of cut stems is not advisable, as it will advance the
hole borer (Xylosandrus compactus)
This is a major pest in robusta coffee affecting the
secondary and tertiary branches causing considerable
damage. Injury to the coffee plants is primarily by
the extensive tunneling within the branches, which limits
the flow of sap. The affected branches dry up. The presence
of withering and dead branches with shot holes is the
symptom of attack.
Prune the affected twigs 5-8 cm beyond the shot hole
and burn. This operation should commence from September
soon as the first symptom of attack like dropping of
leaves is noticed, and continued as a routine measure
at regular intervals.
2. The pest prefers to breed in the suckers during dry
period. So remove and destroy all the unwanted / infested
suckers during summer.
bugs (Planococcus sp.)
Mealy bugs damage coffee plants by sucking the sap from
the tender branches, nodes, leaves, spikes, berries
and roots leading to the debilitation of the plant.
In case of root infestation, plants (especially young)
become weak, leading to death.
mealy bug can be controlled by spraying any of the following
three insecticides viz. quinalphos, fenthion or fenitrothion.
In addition to the above method, the biological control
agents like Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (ladybird beetle)
and the parasitoid Leptomastix dactylopii have been
found effective. Indirect control of the disease can
be made by controlling the ants, which spread the infestation.
scale (Coccus viridis)
The green scale is a serious sucking pest of coffee
The chemical control measures include spraying the affected
patches with any one of the following insecticides viz.
cythion 50 EC @ 200 ml, quinalphos 25 EC @ 120 ml, fenitrothion
50 EC @ 100 ml, fenthion 1000 @ 80 ml, methyl parathion
50 EC @ 120 ml or dimethoate 30 EC @ 170 ml.
(Source: Central Coffee Research Institute, Balehonnur,
Chikmagalur Dt., Karnataka)
rust (Hemileia vastatrix)
This is an important disease causing economic loss particularly
in arabica coffee. On the lower surface of the infected
leaves, small pale yellowish spots appear early after
the first rains in the season. These spots soon increase
in size and number, and many such spots coalesce at
severity causing premature defoliation. Severe defoliation
leads to debilitation of the bushes and results in poor
cropping in the succeeding seasons.
susceptible coffee with 0.5% Bordeaux mixture or 0.03%
ai Plantvax 20 EC 3-4 times a year: Bordeaux mixture
0.5% in February-March as pre- or post-blossom spray,
plantvax 20 EC 0.03% ai in May-June as pre-monsoon spray,
plantvax 20 EC 0.03% ai or Bordeaux mixture 0.5% in
July-August in mid-monsoon spray (if incidence of leaf
rust is severe), and plantvax 20 EC 0.03% ai or Bordeaux
mixture 0.5% in September-October as post-monsoon spray.
rot (Koleroga noxia)
A disease more in occurrence in endemic areas with heavy
rainfall, saturated atmosphere with 95-100% RH, thick
overhead shade, low over-hanging branches, sheltered
from sunlight and wind in valleys or continuous mist
during monsoon. The affected bushes have blackening
and rotting of leaves, twigs and developing berries.
There will be defoliation and berry drop in the affected
branches. The entire block affected looks totally debilitated
with heavy damage to crop.
and handling of the bushes prior to the onset of monsoon
and protecting endemic patches with spraying Bordeaux
mixture 1%. If incidence is observed during the monsoon,
remove the affected twigs and burn them. Spray with
Bordeaux mixture 1% during break in the monsoon.
During the developmental stage of berry, 10 to 50 per
cent premature fruit drop occurs due to insufficient
carbohydrate, auxin-carbohydrate imbalance, nutritional
disorders and waterlogging. Many growth regulators have
been tried to increase the fruit set and for controlling
the pre-mature fruit drop. Following growth regulators
could increase the yield when they are given as foliar
application 10-15 days after blossom (first spray) and
during last week of May before the onset of southwest
monsoon (second spray).
200 ml of water
(for 1.5 l)
Hastening of fruit ripening in coffee could be achieved
by spraying ethephon (Ethrel) on mature berries when
10 % natural ripening is observed. By this, ripening
can be hastened by 2-4 weeks and in two rounds about
96% ripe fruits could be harvested. The following concentrations
are standardized for arabica and robusta plants.
100 to 120 ml per 200 litres of water per 400 plants
Robusta: 40 to 54 ml per 200 litres of water per 267
concentrations are to be used in lower elevations and
thin shaded places, whereas higher concentrations are
to be used in higher elevation and thick shaded plantations.