Developing a coffee yield prediction and integrated soil fertility management recommendation model for Northern Tanzania

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International Journal of Plant & Soil Science


The aim of this study was to develop a simple and quantitative system for coffee yield estimation and nutrient input advice, so as to address the problem of declining annual coffee production in Tanzania (particularly in its Northern coffee zone), which is related to declining soil fertility. The study was conducted between 2010 and 2013 at TaCRI Lyamungu, with source data taken from Hai and Lushoto districts, Northern Tanzania. An earlier model QUEFTS, developed for maize but under similar conditions as those of Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) in the study areas was used as a benchmark. Secondary fertilizer trial data were used in model calibration for coffee, while adding two more steps related to balanced nutrition and the economics of integrated soil fertility management (ISFM). Primary soil analytical data and calculated yields on basis of tree number were used for model testing. The result was a new model which we hereby call SAFERNAC (Soil Analysis for Fertility Evaluation and Recommendation on Nutrient Application to Coffee). The model consists of three modules: SOIL (the soil properties of interest), PLANT (all the crop and crop management parameters such as physiological nutrient use efficiency, plant density, maximum yields per tree) and INPUT (nutrient inputs – organic and inorganic). It consists of two subsequent parts – a baseline approach (no input) for coffee land evaluation; and an integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) approach that involves application of nutrient inputs, for ISFM planning and design of fertilizer experiments. The model was checked for accuracy of the adjusted equations, and found to be capable of reproducing the actual yields by 80-100%. The new model is a useful tool for use in coffee farms.



coffee yield models, soil fertility evaluation, nutrient inputs