​​​​​ Science: Why Conservation Coffee

​Indonesia   English


Arabica coffee grows well on the latitude of 20°S to 20°U and the altitude of 700 to 2,000m asl (preferably >1,000m asl), with an annual precipitation of 1,500 to 2,500mm/year, 1 - 3 dry months (precipitation <60mm/month), and an average temperature of 15 - 25°C. Arabica coffee requires optimum temperatures of 23°C on daytime and 17°C at nighttime.

Today’s global warming has greatly affected the growth and production of Arabica coffee in North Sumatra. The 5-year average temperatures (2011-2015) measured by Sampali Climatology Station, Medan (ECMWF Data) in three coffee grower districts: North Tapanuli, South Tapanuli, and Mandailing Natal, can be seen in the graph below:

  ​ 

   

    ​

Global surveys conducted by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) between 1951 and 1980 recorded March 2016 as the peak of temperature rise. The temperature rise in January was 1.13°C, February 1.34°C, and March 1.28°C.

The graph shows a constant increase in temperature from year to year, with 2015 being a year with the most significant rise and the annual average temperature exceeding 23°C. Nevertheless, the environment provides support for the growth and development of coffee plantations. A suitable environment will see optimal growth and maximum coffee production. ​

​Coffee Growth and Development in Relation to Climate Change

​​​Image (half page with rollover caption)

Remove this module

Section Info​

EditTitle:
EditDescription:
EditPhoto Url:/global/indonesia/cerita/PublishingImages/kopi10.jpg
EditPhoto Description:
EditPhoto Credit:© CI/photo by Isner Manalu
Edit Layout:medium--pull-leftLeft
EditPhoto RenditionID Small:1[Optional]
EditPhoto RenditionID Full:2​​​​[Optional]
To wrap text around image, place text below module.
  • ​​Coffee Flower Formation

Coffee flowers grow from buds around the axils of the plant's plagiotropic branches. Each axil has approximately five buds, and each plagiotropic branch consists of a pair of leaves that face each other, totaling to 10 buds on each node. Each bud can either grow into a vegetative and generative organ or remain dormant. When a bud grows into a floral primordium, it undergoes a process of cell differentiation triggered by environmental factors such as light and temperature.

The development of coffee primordium is influenced by the length of exposure to light. The ideal day length for Arabica is 13 - 14 hours, while longer exposure to sunlight will hinder flower formation and cause the plant to grow only in a vegetative state. On an 8-hour day length, Arabica plants need 2.5 months to form flowers, and 3 months on a 12-hour day length.

Low light intensity will also hamper the formation of floral primordium; however, too much light will be as detrimental. The formation of floral primordium is triggered by the amplitude of maximum daytime and minimum nighttime temperatures, with an ideal difference of 7°C. If the amplitude is too small (cloudy weather, too much shade), less floral primordia will be formed, resulting in decreased production.

  • Coffee Flower Growth

The formation of floral primordium starts at the end of the rainy season and ends at mid dry season for 2 - 3 months, with buds measuring to 8 - 12 mm. At the time, the growth stops, and it is known as the candle stage. Dormancy during the candle stage can be broken by a minimum precipitation of 3 - 4 mm until flowering. Otherwise, the flower will wither and die. Flowering requires rain to trigger a dormant bud to bloom, and it does so within 7 days. If the plant does not get enough water after the flower blooms, the fruit valve will have difficulty growing.

​​​Image (half page with rollover caption)

Remove this module

Section Info​

EditTitle:
EditDescription:
EditPhoto Url:/global/indonesia/cerita/PublishingImages/kopi6.jpg
EditPhoto Description:
EditPhoto Credit:© CI/photo by Isner Manalu
Edit Layout:medium--pull-rightRight
EditPhoto RenditionID Small:1[Optional]
EditPhoto RenditionID Full:2​​​​[Optional]
To wrap text around image, place text below module.
  • ​Cofee Fruit Development 

The growth and development of coffee fruit can be clearly seen 6 - 8 weeks after anthesis, which will be followed by a pin head stage, rapid growth, seed formation, dry matter accumulation, and fruit ripening. The type of precipitation affects fruit development. To a certain point, the fruit will grow larger when the climate is drier; however, beyond such point, low precipitation will result in a smaller fruit. The size and yield of coffee fruit have a positive correlation with altitude. Coffee fruits will fall during a long drought.

A drier climate will force a slower rate of photosynthesis and carbohydrate formation in a coffee plant. The plant will have to use the carbohydrate from its branches; thus, killing the branches and fruits. A long drought will also lead to intense evaporation of water from the soil, hindering the absorption of soil nutrients by the roots.

Sustainable Landscapes Partnership Responds to the Challenge of Climate Change by Collaborating with Farmers to Practice Conservation Coffee

Climate change has significantly affected coffee growth and production. To address this issue, mitigation actions need to be taken, and one of them is by practicing a coffee cultivation method known as Conservation Coffee. The Aman Terpadu Coffee Farmers Group in Hutaginjang Village, Muara Sub-District, North Tapanuli District has been attending the 10-session Coffee Field School held by Conservation International Indonesia and its local partner, Pansu.

​​​​​Images Slideshow Carousel (half page)

Carousel Configuration​

EditCarousel Title:
Edit Carousel Orientation:leftLeft
EditAnchor tag for sticky nav (optional):[Optional]
EditImage RenditionID Small:15[Optional]
EditImage RenditionID Webkit:17[Optional]
EditImage RenditionID Medium:18[Optional]
EditImage RenditionID Large:19[Optional]

Carousel Images

Image

EditImage:/global/indonesia/cerita/PublishingImages/kopi12.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:
EditCaption Title:
EditCaption Description:Riris in her coffee farm
EditPhoto Credit:© CI/photo by Elidon M. Sitio
Remove this imageMove UpMove Down

Image

EditImage:/global/indonesia/cerita/PublishingImages/kopi.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:
EditCaption Title:
EditCaption Description:Welseng in his coffee farm
EditPhoto Credit:© CI/photo by Elidon M. Sitio
Move UpMove Down​​
Add another image...
Remove this module

They were taught how to practice conservation coffee during plantation maintenance, such as how to maintain shade trees and prune; use liquid organic and organic compost fertilizers; use litter as ground cover; control coffee berry borers by using traps and biological control (Beauveria bassiana); control other pests and diseases using biopesticides; and turn coffee waste into compost.

Riris Swarni Lumbantoruan, a coffee farmer, recently learned about the many benefits of blind holes (rorak) with a five-direction planting pattern. "The litter that we collect in the holes and doused with local microorganism (MOL) will rot and turn into fertilizers for coffee plants. They also function as biopores during rainy season, which increase the soil's capacity to store water. As a result, my coffee harvest had quite a significant increase this year thanks to the high yield of nearly every tree. We're very grateful to the SLP program," she said.

Another coffee farmer, Welseng Simaremare, had a similar experience. "I immediately tried the method on my coffee plants, using liquid fertilizers on every coffee stem and handmade solid compost. The result is very satisfying. I can see that the soil in my coffee plantation grows more and more fertile. Adding organic materials and MOL helps with the growth, flowering, and fruit ripening," he said.  

The Aman Terpadu Farmers Group also sells unhulled rice to suppliers in Lintongnihuta Sub-District for IDR 2000-3000 more per tumba (rice container) than the market price in Siborongborong. (Isner Manalu/June, 28​ 2016)