Coffee Production Systems: Evaluation of Intercropping System in Coffee Plantations in Rwanda

  •  A. Harelimana    
  •  G. Le Goff    
  •  D. T. Ntirushwa Rukazambuga    
  •  T. Hance    


Intercropping is an agricultural practice consisting in planting two or several crops in the same field simultaneously. This production system appeared to offer an excellent several advantages. While intercropping has been widely practiced since ancestral times, there was a lack of data in Rwanda on the kind of intercrops mostly used and on farmers’ perception of their utility and constraints. The main objectives of this work were (1) to assess the different food crops associated with coffee trees in Rwanda and (2) to determine the perception of farmers on the role of intercropping system. That was why a field survey was carried out between August 25th, 2014 and February 28th, 2015 in Kamonyi District of Rwanda. Seventy-five coffee producers were randomly selected and contacted to fill a questionnaire on their practices. The correlation between yield and pesticide application were performed using R version. The significance level P was set at 0.05. Results revealed that common beans (Pheseolus vulgaris L.) and soybeans (Glycine max L.) were the most coffee intercropped plants. It appeared that intercropping was practiced to ensure the production of staple crops beside coffee. Insecticide remained the main way to control coffee pests and there was thus an important work to find alternative solutions that are often ecologically non-disruptive. Plant breeders and extension agents should investigate plants that are suitable to intercrop with coffee trees in order to enhance the conservation agriculture.

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