Dr. Robert Weingart Barreto is no stranger to Africa’s wild coffee forests. A professor at the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) in Brazil, he is the lead researcher of a World Coffee Research project that seeks to use biological control (also known as biocontrol) to combat coffee leaf rust, the worst disease in coffee farms around the world.
News and knowledge
Harnessing the power of natural enemies to fight coffee leaf rust
Project UpdateDate: 2.18.19
IMLVT's first harvests
Project UpdateDate: 2.11.19
When World Coffee Research (WCR) formed in 2012, one of the first initiatives the organization launched was the International Multilocation Variety Trial (IMLVT). Each of 24 participating country planted the same 31 varieties. Most of the trial sites were established in 2016, and earlier this month, the first coffee cherries began to arrive. Here, photos of the first harvest at one IMLVT site in Guatemala.
Great Lakes Coffee Brings Farmer Profitability Trials to Life in Uganda
Project UpdateDate: 12.30.18
Mr. Baluku is one of the many smallholder farmers who works with Great Lakes Coffee, a green coffee sourcing, milling, and exporting company in Uganda.
Mr. Raphael Baluku has been getting a lot of questions about his coffee trees recently. In November 2018, the 54-year-old farmer—in Maliba subcounty, Kasese District of western Uganda—collaborated with World Coffee Research on the installation of an on-farm technology trial (OFTT) plot at his farm.
Located on a part of Mr. Baluku’s 0.219 ha coffee farm, the OFTT features the farmer's current variety, SL14, and two new varieties—SL28 and Batian—and improved agronomy treatments. Because Mr. Balu...
A new Arabusta for the 21st century
Project UpdateDate: 10.9.18
On the island of East Timor, sometime in the 1920s, an impossible legend was born: the Timor Hybrid. Somehow, a C. arabica plant and a C. canephora (Robusta) plant reproduced and created a natural hybrid offspring—an Arabica variety that contained Robusta genetics.
Biological control of coffee leaf rust
Project UpdateDate: 9.17.18
Costly fungicides and pesticides aren’t the only way to control pests and diseases on a farm. Left alone, nature has developed complex and effective ways of reducing damage by diseases. Such natural control exists because every organism in nature has a range of natural enemies—competitors, parasites or predators—that are capable of reducing the size of its population. In the wild, coffee leaf rust has its own range of natural enemies.