Micronutrients for better coffee yields

Coffee is an important traded commodity providing income for most of the key coffee-producing countries including Brazil, Costa Rica, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. However, coffee growth in these areas is affected by micronutrient disorders including those caused by boron (B) and zinc (Zn) deficiency. To alleviate the dificiencies, fertilizers can be used. This however should be based on a thorough understanding of soil and plant knowledge. This project is aimed at understanding and synchronising the bioavailability, plant uptake and re-translocation of micronutrients in coffee throughout the annual cycle for better yield.
In collaboration with Olam, one of the largest producers of coffee, the project will focus on coffee plantations in Zambia and Laos where mictronutrient challenges are currently being faced. With an initial focus on Zn and B, we aim to; 1) Understand current literature on diognostic methods of nutrient imbalances in coffee; 2) Identify the nutreint imbalances affecting coffee productions; 3) Establish soil characteristics explaining the observed nutreint imbalances; 4) Understand the uptake, allocation and re-translocation of micronutrients thoughout the annual cycle; 5) Develop and translate the allocation and re-translocation model into a proof of concept that underpins micronutrient fertilization in coffee.