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Techniques for Improving Coffee Yields

Coffee production provides a quarter of Uganda's foreign exchange earnings and supports some 1.7 million smallholder farmers, but crop yields are being undermined by disease, pests and inadequate services from agricultural extension officers, as well as climatic changes in the East African country.

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), one of the world's leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty, is playing a key role in overcoming these challenges with simple, efficient practices like planting shade trees to protect coffee plants that require a cooler tropical climate.

"The knowledge I've received towards adapting to farming that suits the changes in the climate, such as intercropping and planting shade trees, has transformed my life." -- Coffee farmer Cathrine Ojara.

Mujabi Yusuf, 41, a coffee farmer in the Nakaseke District of Central Uganda, told IPS prolonged droughts and unpredictable rainfall had been major setbacks.

Neil Palmer/CIAT

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