African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6688

Full Length Research Paper

Comparison between manual and semi-mechanical harvest of coffee fruit in mountainous areas

Gilberto Rosa de Sousa Filho
  • Gilberto Rosa de Sousa Filho
  • Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo (UFES), Centro Universitario Norte do Espirito Santo, Rod. BR 101 km 60, 29932?540 Bairro Litoraneo, Sao Mateus, Espirito Santo, Brazil.
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Henrique Duarte Vieira*
  • Henrique Duarte Vieira*
  • Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Centro de Ciencias e Tecnologias Agropecuarias, Avenida Alberto Lamego 2000, 28013-602 Parque Califrornia, Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Weverton Pereira Rodrigues
  • Weverton Pereira Rodrigues
  • Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Centro de Ciencias e Tecnologias Agropecuarias, Avenida Alberto Lamego 2000, 28013-602 Parque Califrornia, Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Fábio Luiz Partelli
  • Fábio Luiz Partelli
  • Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo (UFES), Centro Universitario Norte do Espirito Santo, Rod. BR 101 km 60, 29932?540 Bairro Litoraneo, Sao Mateus, Espirito Santo, Brazil.
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  •  Received: 19 November 2014
  •  Accepted: 18 June 2015
  •  Published: 09 July 2015

Abstract

In the coffee production, the most expensive operation is the harvest, mainly by lack the labor this time of year. In regions of large and flat areas, the use of mechanization allows a good reduction in the production cost. In mountainous areas the coffee harvest is performed manually. With the aim of reducing production costs, there has been a continuous increase in the use of machinery, especially at harvest. In mountainous regions the semi-mechanized harvest is already being used by aid of portable harvesters that harvest the coffee quickly and at low cost. Family agriculture dominates in Brazil and the use of portable harvesters in small farms can contribute to income increase. This study evaluated manual and semi-mechanical harvest of coffee fruit in a mountainous region of northwest Rio de Janeiro State. The experiment was conducted in June 2012 on arabica coffee crop, cv. Catucaí Vermelho 785/15, spaced 0.5 × 2.2 m, three years old, without irrigation, with a height and yield average of 1.75 m and 72 bags ha-1, respectively. Results showed that the use of portable harvesters yielded up to ca. eight times more than manual harvest. This is probably due to the high productivity presented by this crop, fruit ripening uniformity and the small amount of green fruit. The semi-mechanized harvest showed a cost reduction of 27% when compared to manual, it also showed the highest efficiency, but had the highest leaf drop, more than 33%. Other studies should be performed to identify the level at which leaf drop is detrimental to coffee productivity, in this condition.

 

Key words: Coffea arabica L., performance, operational cost.