Synthesis Of Results On Coffee [coffea Arabica L.] Agronomy Research In Rwanda On 31 March 1994
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Arabics coffee plays an important role in the macro-economic performance of Rwanda. As a result, Agricultural Research Institutes have done research on coffee agronomy, aimed at improving coffee productivity. The ecological conditions for coffee in Rwanda are characterized by inadequate rainfall and high light intensity. Soil parental material and chemical properties are variable amongst different small holders coffee producers. The available results indicate that spacing in coffee planting of 2 m x 2 m or 2,5 m x 1,5 m are convenient. Higher density with "multicaule" planting provided better production with some varieties. Pruning regime has been established but should still be correctly followed. Mulching is the best cultural technique to improve production. It improves soil physical and chemical properties and water storage. It can also improve mineral fertilizer use efficiency. The mulching materials are variable but not enough for all coffee plantations. Mulch is applied late (July, August) in Rwanda. Living cover with different species including legumes cannot replace efficiently the mulch, although the cover of Desmodium sp. and other few species can offer some advantages. Shade trees in coffee plantations have not been successful. N fertilizer followed by K fertilizer improved coffee production. The effect of P was not clear while Mg deficiency was observed in some plantations.