Horticulture :: Plantation Crops :: Coffee


Coffee (Coffea canephora / Coffea arabica)
Varieties Manuring Coffee Processing
Soil and Climate Aftercultivation Coffee Roast Color
Seeds and Sowing Plant protection: Pest Coffee Bean types
Season Harvest Grades of Coffee
Nursery Practices Yield Market Information
Preparation of field Post Harvest Technology

  Related Links
Coffee Board of India
The Coffee Portal
Village Resource Center
World - Coffee Production Map
Coffee Plantation
Arabica varieties
Sln 795, Sln 7, Sln 9, Sln 10, Cauvery and its selections and HRC (Hawaian Red Cuturra),  Chandragiri and san Roman
Robusta varieties
Sln 274, Sln 270, Sln 3.

Varieties Parentage Special characters

Selection 1 (S288)

Tetraploid hybrid from S26 (natural cross – C. liberica x C. arabica)

Resistance to leaf rust race 1 & 2, high yielding. Wider adaptability

Selection 3 (S795)

Cross between S.288 x Kent

Resistance to leaf rust race 1 and 2, 700 -1200kg/ha
Bold fruits 75% A grade

Selection 5

Devamachy x S -881

Small, oblong fruits  900 – 1100kg/ha

Selection 6 z

S-274 (Robusta) x Kents

High A grade beans, 900 – 1000kg/ha

Selection 7

San Ramon –a short internode arabica

Dwarf in stature, segregates to tall by 30%

Selection 8

Pure line selection of Hibrido –de -Timor

Highest resistance to leaf rust, drooping branches

Selection 9

Sln 8x Tafarikela

Drought hardy, suitable to different coffee zones

Selection 10 Double cross hybrid, Cattura x( S795 XHDT) Resistant to leaf rust
Selection 11 Progency of C.liberica X c.eugenoides Field resistance to rust and drought hardiness
Cauvery Catimor x Hibrido de Timor Plants are dwarf, suitable for high density planting
Yield – 3000kg/ha
More a grade beans with superior cup quality
Selection 12 Cross Caturra x HDT, followed by selfing Precocious, suitable for close planting, resistant to leaf rust

Fruit of Coffee

Arabica Vs Robusta


Soil and climate
Soil should be deep, friable, open textured rich in plant nutrients with plenty of humus and of slightly acidic nature (pH – 4.5 to 6.5)

Varieties Elevation (m) Rainfall (mm) Distribution
Robusta 500 – 1000 1000 - 2000 Blossom shower – February - March
Arabica 1000 - 1500 1600 - 2500 Blossom shower – March - April
Backing shower during April – May is required for both the varieties

Seeds and sowing
Coffee is propagated by seeds
Planting spreads from June - December

Preparation of seeds
Healthy and well developed fully ripe berries are harvested from specially identified plants for use as seed bearers. After discarding the floats, the sound fruits are depulped, sieved and mixed with sieved wood ash and dried in shade.  The seed is then graded to remove all cut, triangular and elephant beans. Prior to planting, the seeds are treated with Agrosan or any Organomercurial compound to prevent fungal infection.

Nursery practices
Select light loamy soil of good drainage with high organic matter content with water and shade facilities. Form raised beds of 15 cm height, 1m width and at convenient length. Incorporate 30 - 40 kg of well rotten compost, 2 kg of finely sieved agricultural lime and 400 g of rock phosphate to a bed of 1 x 6 m size. In heavy soils, it is necessary to add coarse sand for drainage and aeration.

Flowering in Coffee

Pre-sowing seed treatment wiith Azospirillum and Phosphobacterium can be done.Seeds are sown in December - January in the bed 1.5 - 2.5 cm apart with the flat side down wards in regular rows. Then they are covered with a thin layer of fine soil and a layer of paddy straw.Water the beds daily and protect from direct sunlight by an over head pandal. Seeds germinate in about 45 days after which they are transplanted to a secondary nursery beds for raising ball or Bag nursery.
Germination of Coffee
Coffee Nursery

Bag nursery

Polythene bags with adequate number of holes in the bottom half are taken and are filled with a prepared mixture containing jungle soil, FYM and sand in the proportion of 6:2:1. An area of 12 x 8 m can accommodate 5000 seedlings.  Seedlings are planted in polythene bags.

Preparation of field

Selective felling may be done while retaining a number of desirable shade trees. Terracing should be done in deep slopy areas. After the summer showers, pits of 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm are dug at 1.25 - 2.5 m apart. The pits are left open for weathering and then filled and heaped for planting. At the time of filling, apply 500 g of rock phosphate per pit along with top soil. Planting is done along the contour in slopy areas.


Arabica Coffee : 1.5 to 2.0 m either way.

Dwarf varieties : Sanraman: 1 x 1 m.
Robusta coffee : 2.5 m either way.
Shade Tree
Bag Nursery

Planting shade trees

Dadap is commonly used as a lower canopy shade. Two metre long stakes are planted for every two plants of coffee.  Silver Oak and Dadaps are planted during June when rains of South-West monsoon commences. During summer the stem of young Dadaps are painted with diluted lime or wrapped in agave leaves or polythene sheets in order to prevent them from sun scorch.  Regulate shade by cutting criss-cross branches during monsoon season. Silver oak trees are planted for permanent shade.

It is generally grown as a rainfed crop.  But irrigation with sprinkler during March - April increases blossoming and results in higher yields.

Pre- Blossom March
Post – blossom May
Mid monsoon
Post- monsoon
Young coffee 1st year after planting 15:10:15 15:10:15 --- 15:10:15 45:30:45
2nd and 3rd year 20:10:20 20:10:20 --- 20:15:20 60:45:60
4th year 30:20:30 20:20:20 --- 30:20:30 80:60:80
Bearing coffee 5 years and above for less
than one tonne/ha crop
40:30:40 40:30:40 --- 40:30:40 140:90:120
For one tonne / ha and above 40:30:40 40:30:40 40:30:40 40:30:40 160:120:160
For less than one tonne/ ha crop 40:30:40 --- --- 40:30:40 80:60:80
For 1 tonne /ha and above 40:30:40 40:30:40 --- 40:30:40 120:90:120

Weeding and mulching should be done as and when necessary. Digging is done to a depth of 30 cm towards the end of monsoon (October - November).  The weeds and vegetative debris are completely turned under and buried in the soil while the stumps are removed.  This is known as the cover digging.  In slopy areas dig trenches on the contour 45 cm wide and 30 cm deep of any convenient length.  Prune water shoots and disease affected shoots.


Plant protection
White stem borer

  • Attacks arabica coffee grown under inadequate shade.
  • Maintain/create optimum shade
  • Borer infested plants should be thoroughly trace, uprooted during March and September, burnt to avoid economic loss during the subsequent years.
  • Install pheromone traps @ 25 /ha, if the incidence is high.
  • Remove the loose scaly bark on the main stem and thick primaries using coir glove or coconut husk.
  • Pad with monocrotophos 36 WSC @ 5 ml by making a window in the stem at 5 cm x 5 cm and fill it with absorbant cotton dipped in insecticide solution and close it.
White stem borer

Male Pheromone Trap

Berry borer
  • Carry out timely and thorough harvest.
  • Avoid gleanings as far as possible.
  • Pick up and destroy the gleanings.
  • Meticulously remove the leftover berries.
  • Remove offseason berries to save main crop.
  • Avoid excessive shade.
  • Prune plants properly to facilitate better ventilation and illumination.
  • Spray Quinalphos 25 EC @ 340 ml/200 lit or lamda cyhalothrin 5 EC 120 – 160 ml / 200 lit.
  • While processing at the estate level dry coffee berries to the prescribed moisture level : Arabica / robusta parchment 10 %, Arabica cherry 10.5 % and robusta cherry 11.0 %.

Note: The approximate time is 120 – 150 days after flowering. However decision on pesticide application to be done by closely watching the pest incidence.

  • Set up traps with Ethyl: methyl alcohol (1: 1) to attract adults.
  • While processing at the estate level dry coffee berries to the prescribed moisture level: Arabica / robusta parchiment 10 %, Arabica cherry 10.5 % and robusta cherry 11.0 %

    BerryBorer            Life Cycle

200612-2 Cafe_brocado
Berry borer

Berry borer

Shot hole borer beetle
Shot hole borer mainly attacks the branches and suckers of robusta coffee. This pest thrives under heavy shade and can be controlled by pruning the branches and spraying with Quinalphos 25 EC 2 ml/lit.

Green scales and mealy bugs

Release coccinellid predator Cryptolaemus montrouzieri @ 300 beetles/acre.
Spray Verticillium lecanii @ 6 x 106 spores/ml or spray any one of the following insecticide
Insecticide Dose
Monocrotophos 36 % SL 1.5 ml/lit.
Oxydemeton –Methyl 25 % EC 2.5 ml/lit.
Quinalphos 25 % EC 2.5 ml/lit.

Green Scales

For the control of leaf miner spray Oxydemeton –Methyl 25 % EC @ 2.5 ml/lit

Broca Trap

Spray 0.5% Bordeaux mixture in February - March (Pre-bloom) followed by 0.03% Oxycarboxin in May - June (Pre-monsoon).  Repeat in July - August (mid-monsoon) September - October (Post-monsoon) with any one of the above fungicides or Spray 0.5 % Bordeaux mixture during the month of June followed by 0.02 % Triadionefon during September and 0.5 % Bordeaux mixture during the month of December.
fig04 disease_coffee-rost


Black rot or Koleroga
Centering and handling of the bushes should be done prior to the onset of South-West monsoon. Remove affected twigs. Spray 1% of Bordeaux mixture during break in monsoon.

Collar rot
Treat seeds with Carbendazim 1 g/kg or Carboxin 0.7 g/kg.  Maintain filtered shade in nursery.  Drench nursery beds with Mancozeb or Captan 0.5 g/lit before sowing.

Brown eye spot
Brown eye spot can be controlled by spraying Captan or Mancozeb or Ferbam 2 g/lit or Carbendazim 0.5 g/lit during September.

Black root rot
Dig out and burn infected bushes. Dig a trench 30 cm deep around affected spot along with a ring of healthy bushes. Prune the healthy bushes within and outside the trench to allow sunlight.  Keep the trench free from fallen leaves. Do not replant for 18 months.


Harvest starts during November and harvesting extends up to February.  Coffee fruits should be harvested as and when they become ripe.  Coffee is just ripe when on gently squeezing the fruits the beans inside come out easily.  Unripe fruits should be scrupulously sorted out before using the fruits for pulping.  They may be dried separately as cherry.

Fly picking: Small scale picking of ripe berries during October to February

Main picking: Well formed and ripened berries are harvested during December. Bulks of the yields are obtained from this picking.

Stripping: Picking of all the berries left irrespective of ripening.

Cleanings: This is collection of fruits that have been dropped during harvesting.
Unripe fruits should be scrupulously sorted out before using the fruits for pulping. They may be dried separately as cherry.

Immature Berries Mature Berries


750 - 1000 kg dry parchment /ha

Coffee Processing
Wet Processing Cleaning

Drying Colour Sorting  
Coffee Beans - Types
Grades of Coffee
Decaffeinated Coffee Flavoured Coffee

Market information

Growing Districts  Dindigul, Nilgiris, Salem and Theni
Major markets in Tamil Nadu  Coonoor, Bodinayakanur, Mettupalayam
Types  Arabica, Robusta
Grade specification  Washed, Unwashed, Monsooned, Instant, Ground, Roasted, Speciality

1. http://lh6.ggpht.com/_KGxfF9paNrY/R8Dnm8KSK4I/AAAAAAAAA-w/Sgae9Iu50w4/IMG_0365.JPG
2. http://www.uga.edu/agsa/Graphics/coffee_nursery.JPG
3. http://www.uga.edu/agsa/Graphics/coffee_nursery.JPG
4. http://www.sgn.cornell.edu/documents/community/feature/200612-2.jpg
5. http://www.apsnet.org/Education/LessonsPlantPath/Coffeerust/Images/fig04.jpg
6. http://www.coffee.uni-bonn.de/images/disease_coffee-rost.gif


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