Coffee Farming

A. Land Selection and Field Preparation

i. Select gently sloping land and avoid very steep slopes;

ii. Select deep, fertile, well aerated and freely draining soils with good structure and texture and rich in organic matter;

iii. Clear and clean land of all tree stumps, roots and obnoxious weeds;

iv. Mark out the field using pegs at spacing of 3x3 meters for Robusta Coffee and 2.4 meters for Arabica Coffee or 10x10 feet for Robusta Coffee or 8x8 feet for Arabica Coffee between and within rows running parallel to the contour;

v. Three months before planting, dig holes 60 cm deep by 60 cm long and 60 cm deep (or 2 feet wide x 2 feet long x 2 feet deep). The top soil should be placed on the upper side and the sub soil on the lower side;

vi. Place about 10 kgs, (1 Tin) of manure per planting hole;

vii. Fill back the holes two months before planting by mixing the manure with the top soil and placing the mixture in the hole to fill it.

viii. Fix a stick in the middle of hole while filling to indicate where the plantlet will be planted;

ix. Procure planting material only from certified Clonal coffee nurseries;


B. Planting

x. Planting should be done at least after 4 consecutive rainy days of the rain season;

xi. Water the potted cutting/seedling the day before planting;

xii. Planting should be done in the evening hours of the day;

xiii. Remove the stick from the planting hole, (in viii) and make a hole large enough size to accommodate the plantlet;

xiv. Remove the polythene bag by cutting off its base;

xv. Cut back the tap root and remove the twisted parts of the root system;

xvi. Place the polythene bag in the hole and gently pull up the polythene (now cylinder) out over the top of the plant - (Caution: The used polypots should be burnt or buried in a deep pit after removal);

xvii. The soil is then packed round the plant and gently pressed down around the collar of the plant, making certain that the plant is at the same level in the field soil as it was in the bag. This is to avoid fungal attack that leads to collar rot;

xviii. Water the new plant immediately and every evening for at least 4 days if no rain available

xix. Provide shade to the newly planted plantlet using bamboo, tree branches etc.


C. Inter-cropping and Inter-planting in Young Coffee

xx. Recommended inter crops are bananas and legumes eg. soya beans, ground nuts and non-climbing phaseolus beans;

xxi. Legumes must be confined within the central 2 meters of the inter-row leaving a clear 0.5 meter between them and the coffee tree;

xxii. Bananas are inter-cropped in the ratio of 1 banana to 4 coffee trees;

xxiii. Shade trees should be inter-planted at a spacing of 60 feet; and

xxiv. Shade trees need to be with a wide canopy, leguminous, deep rooted, quick maturing, multipurpose, and without thorns.


For further information contact the Sub-county Extension Officer, Regional Coffee Extension Officer or
Uganda Coffee Development Authority, (UCDA), Coffee House, Plot 35 Jinja Road

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Contact info

Coffee House,
Plot 35 Jinja Road,
P.O.Box 7267,Kampala, Uganda
Tel: (+256)-414-256940 / 312-260470
Fax: +256-414-256994