Demonstration Farm and Nursery
The majority of coffee plots in Haiti are smaller than a hectare. The Haiti Coffee Academy’s 12-hectare demonstration farm, therefore, is large in the local context. The farm and adjoining nursery, part of a collaboration with the Jean-Louis family of Tè Lonj, provide ample space and facilities to demonstrate the economic and environmental potential of coffee in Haiti.
Academy staff work the farm using some of the same small-scale methods that Haiti’s farmers have used for centuries. Abiding by traditional growing techniques ensures that the methods we use on the farm can be replicated by local smallholders, and we encourage local farmers to improve their agronomic practices through our trainings and consultations.
All coffee grown in Haiti is arabica, the species whose bean is known for its consistent quality levels and high cup scores. Ninety percent of Haiti’s coffee is the typica variety — the type famously brought to the New World by a French naval officer in the 1720s.
Typica beans are known for their excellent cup quality. The coffee plants are tall, but the variety’s crop yields are relatively low. A disease known as coffee leaf rust has also decimated typica production in Haiti in recent years, especially at altitudes below 1,000 meters.
In addition to producing typica seedlings, we’re growing four Brazilian coffee varieties approved by the National Coffee Institute of Haiti in an effort to discover additional ways to improve coffee production and quality. Agronomists from the Agricultural Research Enterprise of Minas Gerais (EPAMIG) helped the Academy select these four varieties, listed below.
Mundo novo is a robust coffee variety known for having good cup quality. It produces high yields and is widely-cultivated in Brazil.
Catuai is a highly-productive and widely-adaptable coffee variety. The plants are dwarf trees that lend themselves to dense planting and high per-hectare yields.
Catucai coffee plants came from a natural cross between two other Brazilian varieties: catuai and icatu. Catucai plants are resistant to leaf rust and other diseases that plague coffee trees. Ripe coffee cherry from the amarelo type are yellow rather than red.
EPAMIG developed the catigua variety in 1980 through a cross between catuai and timor coffees. Catigua is highly resistant to coffee rust, as well as root-knot nematodes.