Knowledge for Development


The ACP Group of States need to adjust the approach to agricultural production, marketing and distribution to be able to compete in national, regional and international markets. Traditional commodities such as coffee are no longer assured of guaranteed prices and ready access to international markets. How then should the ACP region respond? Commodities, traditionally considered as food security crops are now being looked at in a different light. Can scientists assist the countries in making informed decisions to improve efficiency, cost effectiveness, quality and competitiveness?

Scientists from icipe used the CLIMEX model to relate present-day insect distributions to current climate and to project the fitted climatic envelopes under two future  climate scenarios [A2A (Intensive economic growth but regional and very heterogeneous development) and B2B (Diverse and local solutions to development, less  intensive with lower population growth)]. In both scenarios, the situation with the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is forecasted to worsen in the current Coffea arabica producing areas of Ethiopia, the Ugandan part of the Lake Victoria and Mt Elgon regions, Mt Kenya and the Kenyan side of Mt Elgon, and  most of Rwanda and Burundi. and    (icipe 05/08/2013 and PLoS ONE 6(9): e24528, 14/09/2011)   20/09/2013
Researchers from CIRAD and its partner, Ecom Agroindustrial, have mastered ‘cell suspension’, a cutting edge propagation technique for Coffea arabica. This technique of propagating in vitro plantlets through somatic embryogenesis (a process where a plant or embryo is derived from a single somatic cell or group of somatic cells) will make it possible to produce the millions of coffee plantlets required to meet market demand for high-quality selected varieties. This pioneering work opens up new possibilities for the propagation of plants and varieties on an industrial scale. It will also mean considerably higher income levels for many producers and the rapid replacement of plants affected by disease.   (CIRAD, 10/2013) 17/12/2013
Ongoing research by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Kampala, Uganda, in collaboration with other CGIAR centres (CIAT, ICRAF, and CIFOR), has attempted to evaluate the benefits of different types of systems, including co-benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation and implications for pest and disease incidence. Researchers have found that banana-coffee intercrop systems can be beneficial for farmers because they leave the yield of the coffee crop virtually untouched, while providing more food for their personal use. Essentially, by combining the two crops farmers are greatly increasing the total yield value of a single plot of land, even if the yield for individual crops doesn’t change much.(CCAFS, 9/7/2012) 26/09/2012
The ‘Plantwise’ initiative, led by CAB International and its partners, has updated its website blog with a post on integrated pest management techniques (developed in Colombia) being established in Papua New Guinea to control the coffee berry borer pest (Hypothenemus hampei, a tiny beetle). Coffee berry borer can potentially be successfully managed using an integrated approach with minimal input of broad spectrum insecticides, providing there is some initial investment for added labour costs involved with monitoring and harvesting the crop.The challenge now is to demonstrate to farmers and land managers how the IPM techniques work and to continue improving the techniques. The initial study, conducted in Colombia, which the PNG project follows, produced the paper (open access) ‘Implementing an Integrated Pest Management Program for Coffee Berry Borer in a Specialty Coffee Plantation in Colombia’. The blog post also lists several other relevant links to IPM and coffee.(CABI Plantwise, 6/11/2012) paper: 20/11/2012

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