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The Genetic Improvements, Nursery & Varietals module is based on three main components which are the study of suitable micro-climates, efficient cropping systems and well adapted genetic materials. This course equips students to grow high quality coffee specifically in understanding into how different types of varietals respond to different circumstances such as tolerance to water, efficient photosynthesis, weather stresses, and pests & disease. 



Day 1: Overview of nursery general best practices. Nursery construction design and materials, fertilizer use, pest and disease control, etc.

Day 2: Discussion of nursery stages: seedlings to bags, transplanting from bags to field, best practice, timing, spacing, location, how/where to plant different varieties, etc. Review of fertilizer application and importance and timing.

Day 3: Discussion about potential of current varietals in region as well as potential for new. Cupping varietals.

  • The Level 1 requires no previous experience.


Day 1: Overview of nursery general best practices. Different styles of nurseries, pros and cons. Importance of time of year. Design, materials, fertilizer use, pest and disease control, etc. Discussion of growing different coffee varietals in a nursery, pros and cons. Cupping.

Day 2: Looking more specifically at nursery designs used in the local region. Most common designs, as well as potential improvements. In-depth discussion of current varietals grown in region, history, reasons behind decision to start growing. Further discussion about potential of current varietals as well as potential for new. Cupping.

Day 3: Design/build seedbox, plant seedlings, apply fertilizer, cover box, etc.  Afternoon discussion about soil quality, transplanting coffee from seed box to bags, as well as ideal locations on a farm for each stage of the nursery (seed box, bags, etc.) Review of fertilizer application importance and timing, pruning and stumping, etc.

  • The Level 2 is suitable if you are already part of the industry, working in the field covered by the module, and have a firm knowledge of the basic skills.
  • Pre-requisite: Sensory Level 1 (recommended only)

SCi NURSEry level 3

SCI Nursery Level 3 offers 2 tracks to help you hone your skills and learn more of the science behind your job.

Track 1 - Scientific Theory & Skills: 

Day 1: Identify the structure of coffea genus, full theoretical discussion, genetic improvement best practices and cupping component (advanced coffee species, infraspecific and interspecific hybrids and Arabica varietals’ flavor profiling; high density, long development and ripening cycle versus deformed, low density beans' flavor profiles).

Day 2: Discussing and applying advanced knowledge on spacing, applying fertilizers, pest and disease control, shading, etc. Afternoon discussion about grafting, different reasons and importance, types of plants used as scions and rootstock, different methods of grafting, sweatboxes and other equipment used, timing of grafting, etc.

Day 3: In-depth discussion of key value-chain activities at nursery and genetic improvement level (Business of coffee growing).

Track 2 - Business: 

Involves an in-depth look at how to apply nursery applications in making successful business decisions.

  • Extensive relevant experience is recommended before attempting this level.
  • Pre-requisite: SCI Nursery Level 2 (recommended only)