Appropriate Coffee Crop Productivity and Quality Improvement Research Programmes
The focus in this research programme is to identify best crop husbandry and integrated pest management practices that will meet the different requirements and constraints of Tanzanian’s diverse coffee farming systems. Also the programme address the impact of declining soil fertility associated with lack of affordable inorganic fertilizers or availability of organic manures. The programme is working to develop relevant soil and nutrient management systems that will help farmers make balanced and cost-effective decisions about how they can best manage soil fertility. The output of the programme will improve productivity per unit area or tree, reduce costs of production and enhance the quality of Tanzania coffees.
Improved plant management practices in different faming systems: TaCRI managed to open new trials which are expected to start packaging the information by 2018/19. These include benefit comparison of using different seedling multiplication techniques; evaluation of canopy management regimes both for Arabica and Robusta coffee; evaluation of suitable patterns of coffee-banana intercropping both for compact Arabica and Robusta; and effects of shade on yield and quality for the new Arabica varieties. Also, in order to establish the benefit of using various methods of seedling multiplication, a trial to evaluate the benefit of using techniques such as; grafting, clonal, tissue culture and seed was established.
Climate-smart agricultural practices relevant to coffee production: During SAP III, new automated weather stations were installed at Ugano and Lyamungu, and weather data have been digitally stored to own TaCRI’s long term climatic database useful for agriculture research.
Integrated Pest Management
Integrated pest management practices for major coffee pests: During SAP III, the institute developed and packed botanical extracts as bio-pesticides for the management of Antestia bug. Also, improved coffee berry borer trap and use of local brews as attractants was developed and packed for use. The research team managed to open trials that include assessment of the efficacy of Fipronil and Dursban as banding chemicals against white coffee stem borer, which was established in four zones.
Cost effective, appropriate soil fertility and plant nutrition technologies: With regard to the on-going development of cost effective and appropriate soil fertility and plant nutrition technologies for Arabica and Robusta coffee, TaCRI worked develop soil fertility database for coffee growing areas countrywide; and district reports have also been compiled. This included development of a coffee-yielding prediction and ISFM recommendation model (SAFERNAC). The Institute opened new trials which are expected to start packaging the information by 2018/19. The trials include response functions of new varieties to NPK at high planting density; assessment of the benefits of tonic application of copper, zinc, sulphur and boron micro-nutrients to the growth, leaf- retention, yield, and cup quality of new varieties; and assessment of the effect of liming on plant growth and productivity.