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A Practical Guide for Subject Matter Specialists and Agents Development

Coffee and Tea Authority Ethiopia European Development Fund (EDF) Project No. 6.ACP.ET . 026


Agricultural Training March, 199 5



Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority and IATP, 1995 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means, nor transmitted, nor translated into a machine l anguage without the written permission of the publisher. The technical recommendations and opinions detailed in the text are those of the Editorial Committee and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union Institutions. The first draft was published by the International Agricultural Training Programme, East Close, Ditcheat, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 6PS, United Kingdom. First published 1995 I SBN 1 898547 12 2

ACKNOWLEID[:h:MEN'I'S This first edition of the Ethiopian Coffee Handbook was initially prepared in draft form by Ato Yilma Yemane-Berhan. This text was used as a base upon which an Editorial Committee made up of: Ato Abayneh Alemu Ato Ebrahim Sequar Ato Yehasab Aschalew under the chairmanship of Ato Berhanu Antoine developed the detailed recommendations. The final editorial work was undertaken by Ato Adane Gebre. The artwork was undertaken by Ato Nega Gebremedhin and a number of illustrations have been used from A Review of Major Coffee Pruning Practices with the permission of the author. I CI I Zeneca Agrochemicals kindly supplied all the colour photographs relating to pests and diseases. The initial typing was undertaken by W/o Berhane GtHiwot and the page setting undertaken by Pernille Olsen. I ATP would like to offer their thanks to these people and also to the staff of the Regional Bureaux of Coffee and Tea for all their constructive comments.

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Foreword from the Head of the Development & Project Coordination Department How to use this Handbook I ntroduction to Coffee Growing in Ethiopia 1.1. Seed Selection 1.2. Seed Preparation 1.3. Seed Viability 1.4. Calculation of Seed Quantity Required 1.5. Nursery Site Selection 1.6. Bareroot Method of Raising Seedlings 1.7. Sowing Seeds for Bareroot Seedlings 1.8. Polytube Method of Seedling Production 1.9. Preparing a Polytube Nursery 1.10. Maintenance of Bareroot and Polytube Seedlings 1.11. Disease Control 1.12. Insect Pest Control 1.13. Seedling Acclimatisation 1.14. Selection of Seedlings 1.15. Preparation of Seedlings for Transplanting 2.1. Slope of Land 2.2. Land Preparation in Wooded Areas 2.3. Land Preparation on Previously Farmed Land 2.4. Lining for Planting . 2.5. Spacing 2.6. Preparation of Planting Holes 2.7. Planting Materials ' 2.8. Planting out in the Field 2.9. Planting Bareroot Seedlings 2.10. Planting Polytube Seedlings 2.11. Aftercare of Seedlings 3.1. 3.2. 3.3. 3.4. 3.5. 4.1. 4.2. 4.3. 4.4. 4.5. 4.6. Advantages of Mulch Mulch Materials Production of Mulch Materials Methods of Mulch Application Coffee Shade Management Ploughing Hoeing Slashing Mulching Shading Chemical Control










Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority, July 1994

i Contents



5.1. 5.2. 5.3. 5.4.

Types of Fertilisers Fertiliser Application Rates Method of Application Organic Manures



6.1. Types of Pruning 6.2. Formative Pruning 6.3. Maintenance Pruning 6.4. Rehabilitation of Old Coffee Plants 6.5. Rehabilitation by Stumping 6.6. Rehabilitation by Side Pruning 6.7. Rehabilitation by Topping 6.8. Interplanting following Stumping 7.1. 7.2. 7.3. 7.4. 7.5. 7.6. 7.7. 8.1. 8.2. 8.3. 8.4. 8.5. 9.1. 9.2. 9.3. 9.4. 9.5. Antestia Bug White Coffee Bug Coffee Berry Borer Coffee Leaf Miner Leaf Skeletonizer Coffee Berry Disease Coffee Leaf Rust General Plant Weakness Branch Disorders Leaf Disorders Root Disorders Disorders of Flowers and Berries Main Season Harvesting End of Season Strip Picking Dry Processing Wet Processing Yields








Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority, July 199 4

Foreword This manual has been prepared to give practical guidance for field extension workers who are in frequent contact cash crop. with smallholder farmers for whom coffee is an important production from the nursery through to harvest.

It covers most of the basic aspects of coffee

Users of this manual should bear in mind that there is

to the many problems and constraints associated with the production of a crop which is being grown in a range of differing agroecological zones and farming systems.

no absolute coffee textbook which could provide solutions

Thus extension agents should supplement this manual with ipation of the farmers, continue to develop and improve Ethiopian coffee which already enjoys a high reputation amongst overseas buyers. Finally I would like to express my appreciation to all

their own acquired knowledge and with the fullest partic-

those who have provided assistance in the preparation of this manual and especially the EC for their financial support and IATP for publishing.

Assefa Tigneh Head, Development & Project Coordination Department

How to use this Handbook

HOW TO USE Tim S HANDBOOK This Ethiopian Coffee Handbook has been written to provide a practical field book for Subject Matter Specialists and extension agents. The detailed recommendations have been agreed by a committee of specialists from the Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority. We hope you will find it valuable as a:

reference book when preparing for meetings with farmers or answering farmers' questions; teaching aid when discussing coffee growing with individual farmers; training aid when guiding newly qualified staff members assigned to you.
The text has been written in a non-technical language in a sequence of easy-to-follow steps.

technical note

This is the first draft of the handbook and we look forward to your comments on how improvements might be made. Please send them to Extension Team Leader, Coffee Improvement Project, Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority, PO Box 2594, Addis Ababa.

Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority, March 1995



Coffee is a perennial tropical crop now grown in over eighty countries on four continents. Coffea arebica and Coffee canephora (Robusta) are the most widely grown. Arabica coffee originated in Ethiopia where it has always held an important place in the social and cultural life of our people. Coffee is now the most important export commodity crop for Ethiopia involving 5 million farming families in production and processing. The area under crop is estimated at 321,000ha; 55% of this is in the western area while southern and eastern areas represent 35% and 10%, respectively. The total production ranges from 180,000 to 200,000 tonnes of clean coffee per annum. Arabica coffee prefers deep, friable, well drained and slightly acidic soils with a pH of 4.5 to 6.5, an elevation ranging from 1,200 to 2,300 meters above sea l evel and a well distributed rainfall of more than 900mm per annum. In addition, the provision of shade, pruning, fertilising, pest and disease control and soil and water conservation need to be integrated to achieve a sustainable production system. I ndeed, Ethiopian smallholder farmers have inherited rich cultural practices, which in a multiple cropping system go a long way in the maintenance of soil fertility and a variety of coffee types with prized quality characteristics. Much extension work still remains to be done to exploit this inheritance to the full thus maximising farmers' i ncomes and foreign exchange earnings from coffee.

Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority, March 1995

Coffee Varieties

The Coffee Berry Disease (CBD) resistant varieties suitable for planting in Sidamo, Kefa, Illubabor and Wollega are listed below: Cultivars 741 7487 7492 744 754 7522 7454 74165 74158 74148 74110 74112 74140 7440 farmers' note Growth habit open type Yield (q/ha) 11.4 19.1 15.1 11.3 12.0 16.0 17.0 17.0 16.7 22.6 18.3 20.2 14.0

medium open type compact

I n addition, your farmers should be encouraged to select mother trees which, through their long-term observations, show a high degree of CBD resistance combined with tree vigour and good cropping levels. The only suitable varieties for planting in East and West Haraghe are local selections selected by the farming community as described above. General recommendations regarding agro-ecological areas for growing coffee are:

The best altitude for all cultivars is from 1,550 - 1,900m The average annual rainfall should be above 1,400mm and well Average temperature from 10 - 26C; Well drained, deep, brown-red to red friable loams are ideal for
all cultivars. The major coffee producing areas are shown on the following map.
Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority, March 1995

above sea level;

distributed over a seven month period;

Coffee Varieties

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Coffee Nursery Manaaeme



For any new coffee planting to be a success it is important to:

Select viable, healthy seed; Establish a nursery with the best growing conditions; and, Prepare vigorous and healthy seedlings.

Persuade your farmers not to collect volunteer seedlings. They are:

Weak; Likely to have pest and disease infestation; and, Have a poor root system.


1.1. Seed Selection

I t is very important to select cherries for seed only from vigorous and healthy trees which have given an above average yield for three or four years. The trees should be resistant to Coffee Derry Disease and tolerant to drought if the area has a long dry season of more than three months. I nspect the trees while the berries are ripening. Do not collect cherries for seed from trees which show any of the disease symptoms or disorders described in Sections 7 and 8.

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1.2. Seed Preparation

Cherries for seed should be picked from the middle nodes of the middle branches of middle aged trees in the middle of the harvest season. Pick only red ripe, well shaped, unblemished, fully matured cherries. On the same day that the cherries have been picked, wash them i n clean water to remove any surface dirt or spray residue. Take off any floaters and throw them away. If you have more than 10 floaters per 100 cherries picked advise your farmers to discard all the cherries and start the seed preparation procedure again. Pulp the seeds by hand by carefully squeezing them individually between finger and thumb underwater to burst the skin. Separate the skins and throw them away with the washing water. Leave in the container in the shade to ferment the seeds for up to 10 hours. Then, thoroughly wash the slimy seed, covered in mucilage, in clean water for twenty minutes, stirring gently every two or three minutes. Remove any further floaters and pick out any pearl beans, triangul ar beans and any beans that are deformed. Tip out the water. Now mix the beans with finely powdered charcoal or sieved wood ash. Use sufficient powder to coat every bean. This makes each seed separate. This procedure ensures that the seeds dry slowly and the parchment does not crack. The coated beans are then spread out in a layer one bean thick on wire mesh trays or open woven mats in a well ventilated, shady place protected from rain and strong wind. The first stage of drying i s when the parchment has dried but the inside is still wet. The beans are soft when bitten. At this stage, they will have a moisture content of 25 - 30%. Continue drying until the seeds just crack when bitten. They will then have a moisture content of 15 - 18%.

1.3. Seed Viability

You may need to store seeds for up to 10 months because of the gap between harvesting (during October and November) and sowing seeds (between April and August). The viability of the seed declines considerably about six months after harvest. It can be prolonged up to about 12 months if it i s stored in a simple cheap seed store. This should have a thatched roof with wooden walls and ceilings, all plastered with mud to keep the inside temperature cool. There should be a small doorway with a wooden door. Inside the floor should be raised above the surrounding level and the seed sacks stored on a wooden platform above the floor level Store the seed in fibre sacks. Do not store in plastic sacks or any container that has had contact with agricultural chemicals or fertilizers.

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technical note

1.4 Calculation of Seed Quantity Required

To calculate how much seed to prepare you will need i nformation on: The size of the area to be planted; The type of coffee cultivar to be planted i.e. whether compact or open; The coffee tree population per hectare; (see Section 2.5) The anticipated viability of the seeds; (see Section 1.3) The cropping system, i.e. coffee alone or a mixture of tree crops; The altitude of the area to be planted.

technical note

Count out the seeds in piles of 500 and check the number. As an alternative, weight the seed. In a kilogram of coffee seeds there are between 4,000 and 4,500 seeds. To be on the safe side, base your calculation of 4,000 seeds/kg. In the example above, the farmer will require 4,687 4,000 = 1.17 k.g of seed, 1.5 Nursery Site Selection Nursery sites should be chosen carefully. Look for the following: The site must be accessible by road and within three kilometers of the planting fields; The land should be flat or with a very gentle slope not exceeding 5%; The design of the nursery should allow 10m long beds to be laid out running East to West; The soil should be free of stones and large tree stumps; A permanent source of water must be available; The site should not be located at the bottom of long slopes where cold air can settle at night;

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The site must have good drainage and the soil should be at l east 1 m deep, red or dark red in colour, light loam in texture and high in organic matter; The site should be close to where the farmers live so that little ti me is lost in travel. Clear the land of all plants, woody materials, stumps and roots. Dig.a ditch 0.5m deep and 0.5m wide on the up-slope side of the nursery site. Build up the soil as a ridge on the down slope side of the ditch to protect the nursery from flash flooding. Plant Vetiver grass (Vetivaria zizanioides) on the ridge to minimise erosion and provide a suitable fine grass for mulching the seedling beds. Build a fence around the perimeter of the area strong enough to stop livestock entering and have a single entrance wide enough for vehicle access. Construct a simple store for tools, rolls of polytube material and fertilisers/chemicals.



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Coffee Nursery Management

There should be sufficient internal access so that vehicles can back up to the end of the beds for easy loading of the seedlings. Each bed should be 1.2m wide and 10m-12m long with a 1 m to 1.2m wide pathway between each pair of beds. There are two methods that can be used to raise seedlings. One i s the production of barerooted seedlings and the other is the preparation of seedlings in polytubes. Each requires a different method of bed preparation.

1.6. Bareroot Method of Raising Seedlings

Peg out the corners of the nursery beds and mark the sides with string lines. Dig over the bed thoroughly to a depth of 20cm and remove all the weeds as you go along. Remove the top 15cm of soil from the area intended forthe pathways and place it on the fop of the area marked out for the beds. This will raise the height of the bed by about 15cm. Broadcast DAP fertilizer over the surface of the bed at the rate of 200g per 1 Om length of bed. Mix this with the top soil, breaking the surface down to a fine tilth, press it down to ensure there are no air spaces, level the surface and firm up the edges. Water well. After two to three weeks lightly cultivate the top 15cm of soil on each of the beds and remove all the weed seedlings. Drench the soil with a recommended insecticide to control possible cutworm or cockchafer attack to the seedlings. Raise a rim of soil 5cm-7cm high and wide around the edge of each bed to prevent water run-off and consequent erosion.

technical note

1.7. Sowing Seeds for Bareroot Seedlings

On the planting day, check that the soil is moist enough so that when squeezed it will crumble but not be so wet that it sticks together. To obtain an even spacing of seeds in the seedbed mark out the rows where the seeds will be planted using strings. Two people should work together to do this job effectively. The procedure is as follows: First, stretch six strings 15cm apart along the length of the bed at

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Coffee Nursery Management

soil level. This will leave about a 22cm gap between the outside strings and the edge of the bed. Then, using a 1 m long stick, press it lengthwise lightly into the soil at right angles across the bed every 15cm down the length of the

bed. This will make a series of parallel grooves across the bed.

complete bed has been sown and cover the seeds by gently raking the surface of the seedbed.

Sow seeds 1 -1.5cm deep flat side down at the point where each string and each groove crosses. Remove the strings once the

and water the bed using a watering can with a fine rose.

Mulch the surface of the bedwith thatching grass to a depth of


Erect shade at a convenient height (about 70cm above the ground at high altitude and 1.1 m at low altitude) over each bed. The seeds will germinate in 6 - 12 weeks depending on altitude and season.


technical note

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Coffee Nursery Management

There are both advantages and disadvantages of using the bare root nursery technique.

farmers' note

1.8. Polytube Method of Seedling Production

This method of growing seedlings consists of sowing the seeds directly in polytubes of prepared soil. The following size of polythene tube is recommended: width (when laid flat) 16cm l ength 22cm thickness 0.06mm Choose a dark coloured polythene because it deteriorates less quickly than white under the adverse weather condition in the nursery. Keep to the recommended sizes because when the bag i s narrower or shorter than that recommended, seedlings can develop twisted and/or poorly developed roots. Cut the roll into individual tubes. Keep all the tubes from one roll together and do not mix the cut tubes with those from other rolls as the diameter of the tubing indifferent rolls can vary slightly. If tubes cut from different rolls are mixed these differences will create difficulties when the filled bags are lined up in the nursery beds. The soil mix for the polytubes will depend on the availability of the i ngredients in the locality of the nursery. The best soil is forest top soil alone. However, to extend the available supply of top soil around the nursery, mix the top soil in the following ratio: 4 parts top soil, with, 2 parts compost; and, 1 part river sand.

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Coffee Nursery Management

I f compost is not available, use well rotted animal manure or decomposed coffee husks or pulp instead. Do not use fresh coffee pulp or coffee husks in the soil mix.

1.9. Preparing a Polytube


Mark the beds out as described in Section 1.6. In a new nursery site, the top 15cm of soil in the beds can be used as the top soil in the mix described above. To avoid moving a lot of soil, dig out and transport the 15cm of top soil from the first bed to an area alongside the last bed. The first bed is then free of soil and can be forked to a depth of 20cm, raked and levelled off. This will improve drainage. The beds for the polytubes should be edged with lengths of wood (gum tree poles or bamboo are ideal forth is). Also, divide the beds with wooden cross spacers at intervals of about two metres along the length of the bed. This will stop the tubes falling over. The first batch of polytubes are filled with soil from the second bed i n the block in a ratio with the other ingredients described above. Stack the filled polytubes in rows of 10 across the first bed, making sure that each row of tubes is straight. When the first bed is filled with tubes, over half the top soil in the second bed should have all been used up, and the bed can then be prepared for polytubes as bed number 1. Bed number2 is filled with soil from bed number3 and the process continues in this manner until the whole block is completed. The polytubes from the final bed of the block are filled with the soil which had been transported from the first bed. If the top soil has already been used, collect forest soil, compost and sand as recommended above. Make sure the ingredients are slightly moist so theywill mix together easilywithout making a dust. Press the soil mix firmly into the bags. A bed 1 Om long will provide 1,000 seedlings for field planting. Sow one seed in the centre of each bag 1-1.5cm deep and flat side down. Cover the seed with soil. Mulch the surface of the bags after sowing with 5cm depth of thatching grass and water them. Construct shade over each bed at the height described in Section 1.7.

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Coffee Nursery Management

farmers' note

technical note

1.10. Maintenance of Bareroot and polytube Seedlings

In the first week after sowing, water the nursery beds twice a day if it does not rain. After that, water the beds every morning. Use a watering can with a fine rose so that the soil surface is neither compacted nor washed away. Ensure that the beds never dry out. I nspect the soil surface regularly. As soon as the seedlings start to emerge, carefully remove the mulch. This must be completed before the 'soldier stage' or else many seedlings will be damaged and killed during the removal of the mulch. Store this for use later in the nursery or at planting time. Keep the nursery beds/polytubes free of weeds. Lightly fork the soil with a small hand fork or pointed stick.
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Authority, March 1995 Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing

Coffee Nursery Management

Maintain the fences, drains and paths and cut back all the weeds i n the nursery area. Do not use chemical herbicide to control the weeds; spray drift might damage and even kill the seedlings. Maintain the overhead shade and ensure that it doesn't deteriorate. I f the seedling beds have not been constructed East to West, the seedlings in the outer edge of the most western bed will require shading from the afternoon sun.


When the seedlings have 2 pairs of true leaves, remulch between the seedlings with a 5cm layer of chopped thatching grass. Water the beds regularly and do it either in the morning or in the afternoon not in the middle of the day. As the seedlings grow, the quantity of water applied should be sufficient to penetrate below the root tip. Inspect the bottom of one or two polytubes to ensure the soil is moist and excavate the soil at different places in bareroot nursery beds to make sure enough water is being applied. I f the soil of the nursery bed or the potting mixture included farmyard manure or phosphate fertiliser no top dressing is required. Otherwise, apply fertiliser when the seedlings have 2-3 pairs of true leaves. Apply DAP at the rate of 2 - 3g per polytube or 80g per metre length of nursery bed. Apply the fertilizer before watering so that the fertilizer does not stick to the wet leaves.
Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority, March 1995

coffee Arun" y MWanag


I f the leaves are yellow and showing symptoms of nitrogen deficiency, spray the seedlings with urea solution at the rate of 40g dissolved in 20 litres of water. Spray sufficient to thoroughly wet the leaves to run-off. Give three applications at two week intervals. 1.11. Disease Control The most common and destructive pathogens are those causing ` damping off'. They occur at different stages in seedling growth.

At an early stage the seedling may develop a stem rot near the
surface of the soil and fall over; but the stem becomes girdled and the plant is stunted, eventually dying; or, Rootlets of larger seedlings are attacked, the plants become stunted and eventually die.

At the four leaf stage the seedling may remain alive and standing

` Damping off can be controlled by the removal of the mulch, which will allow the seedbeds to dry out, plus the application of copper fungicide. Read the label and follow the recommended dosage rate. Symptoms resembling `damping off are also produced by unfavourable environmental conditions in the seedbed. Drying winds,
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Coffee Nursery Management

high soil temperature or high concentrations of salts in the upper l ayers of the soil can cause injuries to the tender stems of the seedlings near soil levei. Brown Eye Spot (Cercospera coffeicola) and Coffee Leaf Rust ( Hemileia vastatrix) can cause serious defoliation in the nursery. Eye Spot is usually found with neglected and poorly managed seedlings grown in the sun under weedy conditions. Shade should be increased, all weeds removed and copper fungicide applied. Coffee Leaf Rust symptoms and control methods are described in Section 7.7. ?-

nsect Pest Control

The grey to brownish caterpillars of Cutworm (Agrotis segetum) can cause considerable damage in nurseries by cutting the leaves of the seedlings or eating the stems at ground level. By day the pests hide in the soil near their hosts. At night they emerge on the nursery soil surface to feed. Control the pest by applying suitable pesticides to the soil surface before sowing and after seed germination if damage is observed. Read the label and follow the recommended dosage rate. The seedlings will be ready to be transplanted when they have 57 pairs of leaves. More than 7 pairs results in higherthan average field mortality. The optimum time is likely to be when the seedlings are 8 - 9 months old. Therefore, at 16 weeks from the expected date of transplanting to the field, that is at 4-5 months after sowing, start to thin the shade cover of the nursery to harden off the seedlings. Remove one quarter of the shade density each month. Do not replace the shade at night. The seedlings should be completely exposed to the full sun for 4 weeks before transplanting. I f there is no rain during these four weeks, water the beds in the mornings to compensate for moisture loss due to exposure to the full sunlight. Over-grown seedlings, i.e. those taller than 50cm, should be cut back to 35 - 40cm two months before transplanting. Use a marker stick to ensure that the seedlings are pruned to the correct height. I nspect the seedlings regularly and remove any small, spindly or misshapen seedlings. If there is any sign of disease or pest attack seek expert advice immediately on preventative measures.

1.13. Seedling


1.14. Selection of


I nspect the seedlings in the nursery before transplanting time and discard any that are weak, damaged, stunted or have disease symptoms.

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Coffee Nursery Management

Burn the discarded seedlings and do not use any of the polytube soil that these have grown in for future sowing. Remember, if your farmers plant weak seedlings, they will have weak plants of low productivity in the coming years giving low returns.

technical note

1.15. Preparation of Seedlings for Transplanting

All seedlings should be well watered the day before lifting and transplanting.
Lifting Bareroot Seedlings

Lift barerooted seedlings in the morning and only lift enough for that day's planting. Do this carefullywith a digging fork. Workfrom the end of the bed and support the seedlings as they are lifted; do not
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1 Coffee Nursery Management

just pull them out of the soil. This will help to ensure that you do not break the young rootlets or damage the tap root in any way. Any plants with bent, twisted or forked roots should be discarded. Tap roots should be trimmed back if they are disproportionately l ong, i.e. if the taproot is longer than the length of stem. If the root tip is slightly damaged prune back this portion. As soon as they are lifted, tie the seedlings together with string in bundles of 10. Put 10 bundles into a wet hessian sack. Lay them flat on the bed of the trailer/lorry and cover with extra wet sacks. Keep the seedlings moist during transport to the field by watering the sacking. This will require carrying a container of water on the vehicle.
Lifting Polytube Seedlings

Four weeks before transplanting polytube seedlings, undercut each tube with a sharp knife or secateurs to sever the tap root which has grown through into the soil below the tube. Although polytube seedlings look easy to handle they should be treated with care. Never carry a seedling in a polytube by the plant stalk, never throw the polytube up onto a vehicle and always keep the polytube upright. Polytube seedlings should be stacked in wooden crates directly in the nursery. The crates should be constructed with sides 15cm high. Ensure that the seedlings are kept in the shade at all times. Use covered trailers and construct simple shaded storage areas in the planting field.


technical note

Remember you will need a supply of seedlings to replace those that die in the field soon after they have been trans planted.

leid regularly. Replace anythat die in the field during this ti me. Lift, transport and transplant as described above.

Bareroot seedlings: Retain the 20r% supply of seedlings: in the nursery for 2 months after transplanting. Inspect the Polytube seedlings:
Transport. to the field 10% more seedlings than you need. Store them in a shaded place in the corner of the field where they can be watered regularly.

Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority, March 1995