To qualify as a certified nursery operator, one has to write a formal request that is evaluated by the UCDA coffee extension worker in the area.
The first consideration is whether there is demand for coffee seedlings in the proposed location of the nursery.
The nursery operator then has to demonstrate that he can provide sufficient shade for the seedlings ; can afford the inputs necessary to support plant development and prevent pest and disease infestation and has access to a water source for irrigation.
A qualified operator is supplied with seed from a certified seed supplier and a certificate is issued against which the nursery will be able to supply seedlings once they are ready.
A UCDA official will visit the nursery at the point of germination to assess the performance of both the seeds and the operator's adherence to standards. Subsequent visits check the progress of the seedlings. For example the vigor of growth is checked at two months when a seedling should have two pairs of leaves.
During transplanting from the seedbed to the poly-pots -small, perforated plastic bags- the pots are checked for perforation that enables breathing and the soil mixture. For the latter, UCDA recommends four parts loam soil,one part sand and manure that can be enhanced with phosphorus to support root development.
This monitoring continues till the seedlings have been hardened and are ready to be transplanted to a garden. They should have 6 true leaves and should have spent at least two weeks in 75% direct sunlight before they are ready for the garden.
If a nursery operator defaults at any stage of this process, their certificate is withdrawn.
1. The seed bed is prepared 3 feet wide , with rich and well aerated soil, free of all plant material and weed.It is left to decompose for one week.
2.The coffee seeds are planted in rows, 1-2 inches deep and 1-2 inches apart.Here they are watered heavily and mulched to retain moisture.
3.At 4 weeks, the seedlings have germinated and the first leaves have sprouted and the shades are removed as seedlings are prepared for transfer to poly-pots.
4.The soil mixture for the poly-pots are prepared in a ratio of 4 parts loam soil,1 part sand to enable aeration and water penetration. Add NPK to boost the phosphorus content in the soil.
5.The poly-pots have been pre-readied for the seedlings.Seedlings are planted in the pots and set up in the nursery in a shaded area.seedlings need a specific amount of light for the first 5 months; the more sun they have , the higher the growth rate but the weaker the plants.
6.At 8 weeks, the seedlings have 2 pairs of leaves.
7. After three months in the poly-pot, the seedlings have 6 or more true leaves and ready for hardening; water is reduced and exposure to sunlight increased gradually.
8. At this stage seedlings are ready for the garden
9. Robusta clonal cuttings are prepared from the mother garden.
10.They are dipped in root growth stimulator
11. Then planted directly into a poly-pot where they undergo the same care as the newly germinated elite seeds.