Coffee is an important cash crop for smallholder farmers and provides more than 80% of hard currency in Burundi. To highlight coffee growing conditions, agronomic practices and coffee yield, a survey was carried out in Buyenzi, Kirimiro and Mumirwa natural regions of Burundi in 2008. Data on coffee yield, age after planting or after rejuvenation and agricultural practices were collected through interview with coffee growers. Soil and coffee leaves were sampled for laboratory analysis. Results showed high variation of yield between two consecutive years particularly in Kirimiro and Buyenzi. Coffee trees age was high with over 70% of them aged more than 20 years. Mineral fertilizers were regularly applied by less than 7% of coffee growers and mulch was applied by more than 70%. N and Zn deficiency was observed in Kirimiro and Mumirwa while K excess was observed in all natural regions. Coffee was intercropped with various crops in the following descending order: Taro > beans > banana > maize. Agricultural techniques recommended in coffee cultivation were not properly followed, leading to a biennial variation and low yield.
Key words: Coffee-yield, rejuvenation, zinc-deficiency; biennial-variation; crop-intercropping.
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