Source: Coffee Agronomy Farmers' Manual by the Fair Trade Organization of Kenya (FTOK).
coffee seedlings in a nursery. Credit: FTOK
It is important to select the seedling variety before planting since different regions have different weather conditions, soils, pests and diseases. Therefore the selection of seedlings determine the success of the coffee tree. Issues to bear in mind while selecting seedlings include:
- Always chose a seedling variety that suits best the geographical region.
- Only healthy seedlings should be planted since poor choice leads to weak coffee tree and hence low productivity.
- Traditional varieties SL 34, SL 28 and K 7 are susceptible to Coffee Berry Disease (CBD) and Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR).
- Ruiru 11 and Batian are resistant to Coffee Berry Disease (CBD) and Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR).
- Certified seedlings should only be purchased from Coffee Research Foundation (CRF) or a nursery accredited by the Coffee Board of Kenya.