Effect of Spacing on Growth Response and Pest Incidence in Coffea canephora

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Godfrey Sseremba
Godfrey Hubby Kagezi
Judith Kobusinge
David Akodi
Nicholas Olango
Pascal Musoli
Geofrey Arinaitwe


Coffee tree density optimization can improve fortunes of stakeholders, especially smallholder farmers who dominate the sub-sector at production level. An attractive example is with highly productive countries where high plant densities do increase area yield but across board recommendations are illogical especially withvariety and agroecological variations. We aimed to compare two spacing regimes for growth response and pest incidence using Uganda’s unique C. canephora. Randomized complete block designs with three replications and eight plants per plot were established at four locations. Eleven growth variables namely stem girth (STG), number of internodes on stem, plant height (PH), canopy height, canopy diameter, number of primaries, number of active bearing primaries, length of longest primary (LLP), number of internodes on primary, leaf blade length and leaf blade width (LBW) were measured. Incidences of black coffee twig borer (BCTB), leaf eating beetles (LEB), leaf miners (LM), skeletonizers (SKL) and tailed caterpillars (TC) were also assessed. Highly significant differences between spacing regimes (p<0.01) were obtained for majority of variables, locations, and crop ages. Higher mean growth response was generally higher under 3 m x 1 m (high density) than 3 m x 3 m (low density) with most suitable variables as STG, PH, LLP and LBL. Conversely, pest incidence (BCTB, LEB, LM and TC, except SKL) was higher under high than low plant densities. The findings provide a first stage guide on implications of high plant densities for growth robustness which is translatable into yield potential; amidst a pest prevalence dilemma in studied type of C. canephora.

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Sseremba, G., Kagezi, G., Kobusinge, J., Akodi, D., Olango, N., Musoli, P., & Arinaitwe, G. (2021). Effect of Spacing on Growth Response and Pest Incidence in Coffea canephora. Pelita Perkebunan (a Coffee and Cocoa Research Journal). Retrieved from https://ccrjournal.com/index.php/ccrj/article/view/470
Author Biographies

Godfrey Hubby Kagezi, National Coffee Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 185, Mukono, Uganda

Senior Research Officer, Entomology

Judith Kobusinge, National Coffee Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 185, Mukono, Uganda

PhD Research Fellow, Physiology

David Akodi, National Coffee Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 185, Mukono, Uganda

Research Officer, Soil Science

Nicholas Olango, National Coffee Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 185, Mukono, Uganda

Research Officer, Pathology

Pascal Musoli, National Coffee Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 185, Mukono, Uganda

Senior Research Officer, Breeding

Geofrey Arinaitwe, National Coffee Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 185, Mukono, Uganda

Principal Research Officer, Director of Research


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