Coffee Gardening Tips from Beginner Farmers – Coffee is one of the vital commodities in Indonesia. However, coffee cultivation is not as easy as sipping it at an instagramable cafe.

The cup of coffee you enjoy also involves a long and challenging process. Starting from variety selection, planting, care, harvesting, post-harvest processing, to roasting, and finally brewing at the table.

This is also the case with what coffee farmers are experiencing. They face many challenges, from weather and selling prices to pests and diseases.

Coffee Gardening Tips from Beginner Farmers

Syahdan, here are coffee gardening tips from Achmad Fathurrohman Rustandi, a beginner coffee farmer who managed to increase his yield significantly.

Fathur, as people call him, has only been managing his 1400-meter coffee plantation for two years. In a short period of time, he managed to double his yield. This is thanks to some of the tips she has adopted.

Fathur, as people call him, has only been managing his 1400-meter robust coffee farm for two years. In a short period of time, he managed to double his yield.

This is thanks to some of the tips she has adopted.

Apply organic fertilizer regularly.

First, apply organic fertilizer regularly, such as manure from goat manure. Wild grasses and weeds can compete with coffee plants for nutrients and water. Therefore, Fathur utilizes the weeds as goat feed, so he can farm and feed the animals at the same time.

Regular pruning of coffee plants can increase productivity.

Second, Fathur cut down the old and unproductive branches of his coffee plants. As a result, his coffee farm produces more produce than the larger coffee farms around him.

“We prune the old branches of the coffee fruit, plus the unproductive ones, we cut them, we throw them away, and it turns out that the yield is much greater than a larger garden,” said Fathur when I interviewed him some time ago.

As explained by Fathur, pruning coffee plants aims to shape the crown of the plant and get rid of unproductive, unhealthy, and abnormal branches.

With regular pruning, coffee plants will have more productive branches, thus producing more flowers and fruits.

New shoot cuttings to improve coffee fruit quality.

The new shoots that grow after pruning may not immediately bear fruit with optimal quality. Therefore, according to Fathur, the third tip is that coffee farmers can take cuttings of new shoots using superior trees.

Cuttings are a vegetative plant propagation technique. On new shoot cuttings, Fathur suggests that coffee farmers will take new shoots that are already growing and healthy. These new shoots will then be attached to the trunk of the seedling tree.

This process of cutting new shoots will produce new coffee plants that have fruit quality equivalent to superior trees. This is because the new coffee plants will have the same genes as the seedling trees.

Harvest perfectly ripe coffee cherries.

Fathur gave a fourth tip to improve coffee quality, which is to pick perfectly ripe coffee cherries on the tree. Perfectly ripe coffee fruits have a higher selling price.

However, on the other hand, Fathur admits that not all farmers can always sell perfectly ripe coffee cherries. This is because the price of coffee fruit is controlled by middlemen. Farmers are often forced to sell coffee cherries that are not fully ripe because they need the money.

Intercropping for additional income.

Fathur’s fifth tip is to plant intercropping crops around coffee plants. This aims to generate additional income, given that coffee prices are controlled by middlemen.

Fathur himself planted several trees around his coffee plants, such as avocado, pete, lime and lemon. These crops were chosen because they have a high market value and can be harvested throughout the year.
By intercropping, coffee farmers can reduce their dependence on coffee prices determined by middlemen. In addition, intercropping can also help maintain soil fertility and reduce erosion[mhg].

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