Global Coffea Arabica Genetic Improvement Research Priorities, 2023

Identifying the top needs of the global coffee breeding community


Without significant gains in genetic improvement, the coffee sector will not be able to keep up with growing consumer demand and respond to the challenges of climate change across diverse origins. But decades of severe underinvestment in coffee agricultural R&D has created an anemic innovation ecosystem for coffee genetic improvement. The result is that breeding programs lack basic tools to increase the efficiency of arabica breeding.

National coffee research institutions in key coffee-producing countries, as well as the coffee industry (via World Coffee Research and private sector efforts), have ongoing investments in coffee breeding. But there is an exciting role for the international scientific community to advance knowledge of arabica genetics and build tools that will assist arabica coffee breeding programs around the world to accelerate genetic gain and develop robust breeding pipelines to secure the future of the world’s favorite beverage.

This research priority list for 2023 identifies the top needs of the global coffee breeding community to accelerate genetic improvement in Coffea arabica. For the international scientific community as it develops grant applications for research opportunities, and for those enthusiastic to contribute to the challenges of coffee, we’ve generated a list of key priorities to help focus the community on key technology needs to support global breeding efforts.