Productivity Challenge –Submission Format

A. Contact Details

Applicant name: / RAGHUNATHA B R
Name of the organisation (if any): / COFFEE DAY PVT LTD
Type of organisation (producer organisation, ngo, company etc.): / PRODUCER ORGANISATION
Number of farmers represented:
Region that you work in: / CHIKMAGALUR
Country: / INDIA
E-mail: /
Telephone: / 9141561756
Website (if available):

B. Most limiting constraints

What is/are the most important constraint(s) that limit coffee productivity in your area, e.g. what prevents farmers from producing more coffee per tree / acre / ha? (Max 200 words).

Impact on Soil
Though our estate soils are organically rich and humus content is more, soil physical structure has been altered due to heavy use of inorganic fertilizer and also lack of knowledge regarding amount of fertilizers to be used and importance of balanced N P K ratio.( Urea being cheaply available at larger scale than any other fertilizers is been extensively used in Indian condition, )this has lead to rapid increase in pests and diseases in coffee, also causing rapid vegetative growth and failure to convert the same in coffee bean production, due to hormonal imbalance created.
Soil physical structure has also been altered due to heavy use of weedicide ( glyphosate) though glyphosate has no residual effect, it has lead to depletion of soil flora and fauna Which are helpful for up taking and converting inorganic fertilizers to available forms.
Soil moisture is another factor being noticed recently during month of Nov – Feb. till blossom showers there will be minimum soil moisture or area becomes completely dry. Making Coffee bush to suffer from physical stress. Which may also leads to die back or Death of the plants.
Shade managerment and pruning
Shade management and pruning of coffee bushes is coming heavy as these operations are necessary for maximizing the production, it is a worrisome due to non availability of labors and increase in labor cost, as these activities are time bound operation and has to be carried in time limits.
These activities are still carried out in traditional way using sickle and pruner; it’s a tiresome and laborious. 2 rounds of Desuckering and pruning come heavy on estate management.
Pests & Diseases
White stem borer, Nematodes, Root mealy bug, infestation which is rapidly increasing due to many factors like climatic change, imbalance use of fertilizer, lack of soil moisture, shade management etc, these pest if not taken care has capacity to wipeout estate completely.
Methods being followed to combat these pests and diseases is mainly using inorganic pesticides has led to ecological imbalance in nature and lack of knowledge on integrated pest management and integrated disease management and organic pesticide is another constraint.
Leaf rust is one disease that can completely shatter the planter’s dream of coffee production,
Selection of coffee varieties
Planting old variety (tall variety) like Sln9, sln6, sln 795, cauvery, yields less per acre and there coffee bearing is alternative years, these tall variety’s are prone to leaf rust and kole roga, leaf sucking pests.
Tall variety plant like Sln 9, Sln 6, sln 795, requires more spacing and results in 1250 and 1500 plants per acre which in turn affects on productivity per acre.
These variety commands lots of cultural practices like desuckering, pruning and foliar spray and heavy use of hexaconazole, Bordeaux mixture to contol leaf rust and kole roga.
Also these varieties take 5-7 long years after planting for economically viable yields.
Expensive labour and non availability of trained workers
This one is important of all, non availability of trained workers and inability to hold existing workers in estate, is a serious problem for coffee production.
Coffee picking is becoming a difficult task.
Inability in mechanizing the estate and purchasing modern equipments is not happening in estate due to heavy capital requirement, still in most of the coffee being handpicked, So far no effective machinery has been manufactured, even for various estate operations effective machinery has to be implemented.

C. Please describe your strategy to increase coffee productivity

1. Describe the good agricultural practice(s) that are part of your strategy. Describe the objectives and provide some (technical) details / info where possible (Max 400 words).

Planting high yielding dwarf varieties
Planting highly productive dwarf genotype such as Sarchimor,Hemavathi,Catuai Chandragiri, Cavimor, Brazillian catimor etc, and avoiding tall varieties like sln 795, sln 6, sln 9,etc
As these dwarf Arabica varieties are resistant to leaf rust, pest and diseases and also highly productive as observed,
Dwarf Arabica start yielding from 2nd year from planting, at 2nd year old plant bears 0.75-1.5 kgs, as recorded.
Tissue culture is one method which we have to adopt in coffee plantations,
Plant spacing
A spacing of 3ft*6ft to accommodate 2200-2400 plants per acre is adopted.
This strategy helps in providing more working space for manure application, weedicide, foliar spray and other operations, also this spacing helps plant to get more sunlight,
In future, plants are to be allowed on free growth pattern to attain a height of 6 ft, after harvesting 4-6 crops, 20% of the plants are to be pruned in “rock&roll” method,
Pruning at 1mt height, followed by clipping of primary branches, at 1 ft length to allow lateral growth on primary branches.
Winter irrigation
As it is observed North west phasing coffee estate lack soil moisture during nov-march prior to blossom showers, these part of the estate becomes more drier and hampers coffee productivity, also these areas are more prone to nematode infection and other pests and diseases, 2 -3 rounds of winter irrigation till mid December helps coffee plants to maintain there vigor and enhance coffee productivity.
Winter irrigation has been more successful for Robusta estates too.
Much emphasis should be given on integrated pest management, integrated disease management,
Planting Halwana (dadap) helps as temporary shade also provides green manure.

2. Describe your ideas for a support program (training plans, input supply etc).
Can you describe what adoption and/or extension strategies, if any, you would recommend to help farmers adopt the agricultural practices that you recommend? (Max 300 words).

Ideas to support a programme
We have our own Arabica gene bank where around 75 different variety of Arabica coffee (collected from world wide coffee growing areas) has been planted since 2004; we are evaluating and selecting most suitable and high yielding variety to this area.
These gene bank concept is also been adopted in various other estate, and they are selecting the best variety for that particular area.
Also we are providing seed coffee (best genotype selected) to all marginal, small planter and large holding planters in Chikmagalur and Hassan area.
We are conducting training programme, for planters those who are interested to adopt our cultivating practices, Along with providing them technical ideas and seed material to grow the best coffee in there estate.
Our plantations are open to all the farmers and to one who want to do any sort of experiments and to adopt the same successful strategies

D. Impact of your strategies to increase coffee productivity

Did you evaluate the impact on coffee productivity of concrete agricultural practices and/or support program you’ve described above? If so, please describe what the concrete results were in terms of increase of productivity and/or adoption of agricultural practices (Max. 250 words)

We have replanted so far 4000 acres with dwarf variety Arabica genotype, since 2009
2009 planted areas have already started yielding back.
An acre of dwarf genotype( Hemavathi Variety) which was planted with spacing of 3.6ft*5.6ft accommodated 2200 plants, on the concept that plants are allowed on a free growth pattern (without making matta @ 2.5 ft) to attaina 6ft height as yielded back 1450 kgs raw coffee per acre, next year it is estimated to 3000-3750 kgs per acre.
The same 2008 planted coffee area has yielded 4350 kgs per acre.
By adopting these stratergy of free growth pattern, we have reduced our labor force on operations like pruning and desuckering these activities are nil in these blocks.
Weedicide operations have come down as the area is completely covered by coffee bushes.
Hexaconazole spray and Bordeaux spray(to control leaf rust) have stopped in this blocks as these are resistant to leaf rust and kole roga.
This concept of free growth has saved labor cost and other chemical inputs and has given good results in production.

E. Replication by other organizations / farmers

Please describe up to what extent your strategies to increase coffee productivity can be used by other coffee farmers or organizations? Can your practice(s) be implemented in other geographical areas and can your idea be significantly scaled up? (Max. 200 words)

Our strategy can be implemented fully in all geographical Arabica coffee producing areas,
Infact many planters (small, large) are implementing the same after visiting our plantations and attending our training programmes,
We are collecting the feed back from the same; so far they are doing well.

Chandragiri (Arabica dwarf) planted Sept 2008 flowering in 2011 April has yielded almost 2kgs per plant

Gene bank established in 2004 has 75 Arabica dwarf varieties collected world wide

2009 planting which yielded 1450 kgs per acre

If you have any documents or visual materials (such as a PowerPoint, video, or photo) that you feel would support your application, please add it as an appendix to this submission format.



Productivity Challenge 2011/2012