Arabica coffee production in Kenya: an overview.
Gathaara, M. P. H.
Masaba, D. M.
Owuor, J. B. O.
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The cultural practices, crop protection and breeding programmes in Arabica coffee in Kenya are reviewed. Examples of major insect pests are leaf miners (Leucoptera spp.), antestia bugs (Antestiopsis spp.) and scales. Major plant diseases include coffee berry disease (CBD; Colletotrichum coffeanum), coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix) and bacterial blight of coffee (Pseudomonas syringae). In the 1960s, severe losses from CBD led to the launching of an intensive breeding programme that has resulted in a new cultivar Ruiru 11 which is disease resistant, high yielding, compact in growth and produces good quality coffee. Arabica coffee in Kenya is grown on soils of volcanic origin (Kikuyu red loam soils) which have a field capacity of 1200 mm of water, and irrigation is applied when a soil moisture deficit of 150 mm is recorded. Replenishing 50-75 of this deficit is sufficient