I have good coffee babies and bad coffee babies that we won't even bother to plant. Let me explain. Raising coffee is a tricky business. Short cuts show and plants that are not done right don't grow. Baby coffee must be started from seed about 6 months before planting. The last few months we have all been caring for little coffees in black bolsa bags. In my case, thousands of them.
This is what I have learnt. Basically, another lesson about living in the jungle.
1. The best coffee babies are planted by the owner and cared for by same - lots of attention lots of resources. Vested interest. Seeds planted the right way up, large bags, fully packed with soil, then watered, fertilized, fumigated and given the right light and ventilation.
2. The next best thing is to buy your young plants carefully then care for them well. You check the seeds were planted right and bags filled right by pulling a sample out and taking a look at the roots to make sure the tap root is strong and true.
3. The worst possible thing you can do delegate and let someone else working for you buy plants for you. They are generally making a buck on buying rubbish and selling it at higher prices. No matter how you care for these they will not thrive. If the seed was put in the wrong way up or there is air in the bottom of the bag or things done sloppily in the early months then the tap root will be twisted.
I have learnt, if you want good coffee, you plant it yourself. The business culture here is all about short term wins and short cuts (there is even pride in winning this way); Not about building trust, adding value and sharing larger profits. Doing business here requires a greater investment of self in everything to check, oversee and make sure you are not being cheated. Delegation is just not possible in the same way as I am used to. It is a little exhausting.