Sep 18, 2012, updated September 2012
Somatic embryogenesis (SE) is a highly efficient propagation technique used to produce more plantlets at a faster rate. It is not a genetic modification but an efficient substitute for traditional propagation methods such as taking cuttings, which are time consuming and offer limited production capacity.
The technique, developed at the Nestlé Research and Development Research Center in Tours, France, is being adopted by the Tanzanian Coffee Research Institute (TaCri) and the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA).
A scientist from each organisation undergoes a year’s training in France and will then apply these techniques on returning to Tanzania and Uganda, to improve the propagation rate and quality of Arabica and Robusta coffee varieties. This strategy could lead to the production of hundreds of thousands – even millions – of coffee plantlets that are also resistant to disease and have a good taste profile. Ultimately, other coffee farmers are expected to benefit from this training programme.
Nestlé’s Equatorial African Region (EAR) will agree with TaCri and UCDA on how best to roll out the training to national laboratories and institutes within a specific timeframe, and will closely monitor this plan.
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