Coffee value chain © F. Ribeyre, CIRAD


Coffee is the world's leading agricultural resource, in value terms. Coffee growing generates income and jobs in producing countries, and is primarily practised on small family farms.

CIRAD’s research is aimed at developing and promoting coffee production standards in line with the principles of sustainable development, that are also economically viable.

  • Promoting the ecological functions of coffee-based agroforestry systems: land management, landscape development, carbon balance, catchment area protection, biodiversity.
  • Fostering ecological intensification through integrated pest management, developing resistant varieties with a broader range of sensorial qualities, and better management of the resources in and ecological services rendered by agroforestry systems.
  • Assessing the impact of labels (organic, fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance) on how export supply chains are organized in producing countries.
  • Assessing the impact of product diversification on how agroforestry systems function, and on coffee producers’ incomes.


CIRAD’s experts can intervene at production sites or provide one-off support, assistance and advice missions. They also have laboratories and research greenhouses.

  • Studies, definition and establishment of trials, varietal and agronomic assessments, economic analyses, prospective analyses, disease surveys and diagnosis, technical support
  • Analysis of the conditions for introducing geographical indications or terroirs
  • Research and development project design and set-up
  • Laboratory analyses: soils, leaves, diseases, paternity, etc.
  • Sensorial and chemical analyses of green and roasted coffees
  • Mycotoxin analyses
  • Product traceability


Biodiversity and exploitation of genetic resources

  • Genetic resource management, varietal creation, breeding, molecular and cellular biology, physiology
  • Seeds and reproduction systems (somatic embryogenesis, mass-produced cuttings, seed gardens)

Optimization of production

  • Insect, weed and disease control
  • Cropping practices and fertilization
  • Production mechanization, rural development and the environment
  • Postharvest techniques and analyses
  • Coffee promotion (origins, terroirs, etc.)

Modelling of coffee tree functioning

  • Computer, mathematical and statistical modelling
  • Carbon balance
  • Integration of coffee growing into national development operations

Development of sustainable disease resistance management strategies

  • Identification of fungal pathogens
  • Characterization of resistance sources
  • Identification of resistant varieties
  • Analysis of disease development in the field
  • Taking account of fungal constraints in crop cycles

Products and services

  • Products and services centring on coffee
  • Rational fertilization software using the soil diagnosis method for coffee: a computer program that facilitates interpretation of chemical analyses, to help agronomists manage soil mineral nutrition in coffee plantings
  • New arabica hybrids and rootstock varieties


  • Near infrared spectroscopy: to identify and authenticate coffees using commercial green and roasted coffee spectral databases compiled by CIRAD
  • HPLC, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, etc: to identify the biochemical and chemical compounds in coffee (caffeine, fats, sugars, trigonelline, chlorogenic acids, diterpenes)
  • Analyses of coffee contamination by ochratoxin A: monitoring of processing methods and ochratoxin A titration (ISO 17025)


  • Available training on coffee
  • Training in near infrared spectroscopy and analysis techniques for interpretation and modelling
  • Microbiology training with a view to identifying and culturing the moulds that produce ochratoxin A