GITEGA June 7th (ABP) – Coffee growers who have their coffee trees cut or replanted are called upon to initiate new practices for the sustainable management of a coffee farm, notably by planting intercrops (beans, soy) and shade plants (banana, fruit and native trees) in their coffee fields.

The appeal was launched by the Executive Secretary of the National Confederation of the Burundi Coffee Growers Associations (CNAC Murima W’Isangi), Mr. Dismas Harimenshi, and the governor of Gitega, Mr. Venant Manirambona, during a meeting to sensitize stakeholders on the supervision of coffee growers in that province.

The main objective of those new coffee growing techniques initiated by the State through the Coffee Sector Competitiveness Support Project (PACS) is to increase coffee production and further improve its quality, the Executive Secretary of the CNAC Murima W’Isangi said. He added that two demonstration sites have already been targeted in two communes of each of the six PACS-supported provinces, namely Gitega, Ngozi, Kayanza, Muyinga, Kirundo and Karusi.

Those new techniques of combining the coffee trees that are being cut or replanted are already practiced in two communes of Gitega province, namely Mutaho in Nyangungu village and Gitega in Mirama village, he said.

Leaders of coffee growers from other neighboring communes have already introduced those practices into their coffee trees. The association of coffee trees with intercrops, banana and fruit trees is used by coffee farmers while waiting for the new coffee production. Positive results in the increase of coffee production are already recorded by some coffee growers who practice those new techniques.

During the exchange of experience of coffee growers, Ms. Jeanine of Mutaho commune and Mr. Deo Ngendakumana of Bugendana commune who introduced those new practices said that their coffee production this year will double that of previous years. A coffee plant that produced between 1.3 kg and 1.5 kg will have 3 kg this year, they said.

In his presentation on the sustainable management practices of a coffee farm in Burundi, Consultant Emille Kamwenubusa indicated that those practices have required standards such as spacing of coffee trees and other crops and associated plants, mulching, manure and adequate pesticides. He invited communal agronomists, agricultural assistants and instructors to ensure permanent supervision of coffee producers so that those new practices are popularized according to the appropriate standards.

In his speech, Governor Manirambona invited stakeholders in the coffee growing supervision as well as local administrative authorities to work in synergy of actions in the popularization of those new techniques. He also urged them to lead by example by introducing those new practices in their coffee plantations.

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