Shade tree and coffee production agroforesty system


Bikila Mengistu*

Coffee is one of the most expensive types of crop in the world. Due to the high stimulant value, Coffee is highly desirable crops in all areas. Growing coffee under shade trees is one of the fundamental principles in traditional organic coffee growing systems. Shade tree in coffee production is used to reduce excessive sun light from coffee and shades suffer the coffee from stress and have high biochemical and physiological potential for carbon sequestration both in the biomass and soil. Shade grown coffee plants also produce larger and heavier beans with a better coffee taste than coffee grown in the direct sun light. Also using of shade trees in coffee production provides additional income like fruits, fuel wood and timber. Shade trees assist in maintaining coffee yields in the long term by reducing periodic over-bearing and subsequent die-back of coffee branches. In addition, shading delays the maturation of coffee berries resulting in a better bean filling and larger bean size resulting in better coffee quality. Shade tree based coffee production system is also one of the agroforestry system which uses tree as a major components for the provision of shade. Agroforestry system which is adapting agriculture to climate change have been shown to increase on-farm production resilience to climate variability by buffering crops from the effects of temperature and precipitation variation as well as strong winds. In addition to this due huge carbon sequestration potential of trees and soils under the tree this system opens new financial income in the area of carbon trade. Because of the above mentioned reasons using of shade in coffee production is socially acceptable, economically more viable and environmentally sustainable.

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