and Important Nutrients for high yields


  • improves vegetative growth
  • increases crop bearing capacity
  • increased bean size


  • roots and bearing wood development
  • early berry maturity
  • bean density


  • berry development and ripening
  • mucilage formation
  • water utilization efficiency


  • enhances bean colour (blue/green grey colour)
  • food formation


  • plant hormone
  • influences leaf size
  • intensifies flower initiation and formation


  • promotes shoot growth
  • facilitates optimal flowering and fruit setting


  • enhances aroma of the liquor


  • enhances Nitrogen metabolism

Typical Coffee NPK fertilisers are as follows:

  • NPK 15-5-20+te
  • NPK 17-17-17
  • NPK 20-10-10
  • NPK 22-6-12+S+MgO+Zn+B

Amount of trace elements are adjusted to meet local requirements.

For successful coffee farming, growers need to monitor their plots regularly. If there are visible or anticipated micro-nutrient deficiencies, at least one foliar application is required.

Popular formulations:

  • NPK 20-20-20 +B+Zn+Cu+Fe+Mn+Mo (Potassium source is Potassium Nitrate and SOP)
  • NPK 18-18-24+MgO+B+Zn+Cu+Fe+Mn+Mo
  • NPK 10-5-5+5B+5Zn

 Photo: Arabica coffee growing in Ethiopia

A rule of thumb application recommendation is 250 kg/tree of NPK during the season. Normally the first application (125 g/tree) is approx 6 months before flowering and the second application (125 g/tree) is after flowering, when berries start to grow. it is also recommendable to have soil analysis every third year to fine-tune nutrient contents.

In East Africa, another general rule is that you need 1 kg of Nitrogen to be able to grow 10 kg of coffee berries. If your target yield is 2000 kg/ha of berries,  you need to apply 200 kg/ha of Nitrogen.

Robusta in Uganda

Flowering Robusta in November

Tailor made robusta NPK 18-5-14+te applied by hand

Robusta coffee berries