In a bid to improve the coffee production in the Rwenzori Region, KRC has embarked on massive sensitization of farmers in the region to trump overgrown trees. Good prices of coffee are attracted by good quality coffee produced. One of the factors that determine the price of coffee is the screen size (size of the bean). Bigger screen sizes like 17, 15 attracts better returns whereas smaller screen sizes like 13 and 12 fetch little income. Mostly the coffee plants that produce the smaller screen sizes are the overgrown trees. It is common sight in the region to find a farmer with a forest of coffee trees of over 45 years of age. Some people nickname such coffee trees ‘Nalongo’ because they harvest a lot from them. Yes, you harvest a lot but of very poor quality in terms of screen size and at the same time does not weigh much. Still the outturn for such coffee trees is very low which subjects a farmer to bigger losses. In light of this, KRC in this drive is advising farmers with such coffee to stump it for better results. KRC also encourages the practicing other initiative like mulching, construction of soil and water conservation structures. These include; contours/trenches, water basins L – bridges and terracing. Suffice to add, the trumping of trees, helps in the regeneration of vigorous branches that yield coffee berries with bigger screen size giving the farmer much more money from his/her harvests. This is also coupled with reduced competition for water and nutrients for the coffee plant. It has however been noted that most Farmers don’t stump their overgrown Coffee Plants because may end up drying without regenerating while others think that when coffee is stumped, it takes years to bear berries again and therefore don’t want to starve for a long period of time. Farmers are encouraged to use technical skills that hinder coffee from drying up. i.e leave the smallest branch with few leaves to act as a breather and to allow further photosynthesis to enable the remaining stump regenerate. For trees that grow with single stems use the cut and lie method, for example cut the coffee tree, make it lie on ground without getting it off the stump, reduce the leaves to leave the smallest branch. After regeneration, completely cut off the lying stem to leave the sprouting branches. Remember to clean off the algae and liverworts on the remaining stump carefully not damaging phloem tissues (the bark).After coffee is stumped, it only skips one season of flowering and bearing. The following season it flowers and bears again.


Author: By Kayiwa John

Category: KRC Newsletter

Publish Date: 2016-03-09

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