Intercropping is the trend in sustainable coffee production

Dinh Thi Nha Truc, M.Sc

Division of Agriculture System 

According the survey result on intercropping systems in coffee farms in the Central Highlands (Vietnam), there were four popular plants used to intercrop with coffee, such as durian (Durio Zibethinus), black pepper (Piper Nigrum L.), avocado (Persea Americana) and cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.). Because of the high intercropping density, coffee yield could only get less than 3 tons per hecta per year. Farmers used unbalanced fertilizer dose of N-P2O5-K2O ratio and applied fertilizer in the unreasonable time. The amount of irrigation water for intercropping farms was quite reasonable, the average amount of water for coffee was 400 liters per tree per time, durian of 250 liters per tree per time, pepper of 100 liters per tree per time, avocado of 300 liters per tree per time. Coffee productivity was less fluctuation over the years. Cost effectiveness for intercropped farms increased from 1,5% to 300%.