Cat129, which is sometimes called Nyika in Malawi where the variety is grown, is a selection of a Catimor breeding line from Colombia (Caturra x Timor Hybrid 1343). It was introduced to Africa in the 1970s via Kenya (where it was used as one of the female parents of some Ruiru 11 progenies). It was then introduced in Malawi in the 1990s, where it was selected by the Coffee Research Unit of the Tea Research Foundation for release as a variety in 2006, mainly for its yield and resistance to both coffee leaf rust and coffee berry disease (CBD).
The introduction to Malawi was part of a program financed by the European Union (EU) to rehabilitate the farms of smallholder coffee producers by gradually replacing the aging populations of Agaro and Geisha varieties with higher yielding Catimors, which would also enable coffee leaf rust and CBD to be controlled without the need for costly fungicide sprays. Of the five Catimor lines introduced, only one—Cat129—showed some resistance to CBD.
For more background on the history of the Catimor group of coffees, see T8667.