- The program is financed by more than 200 leading companies in the global coffee industry located in 27 countries around the world.
November 18, 2022. CATIE ( Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) welcomed representatives of World Coffee Research (WCR) and its partners to its campus for the launch of the global coffee breeding program: Innovea, which seeks to secure the coffee production chain in the long term. WCR is a global non-profit agricultural research organization that unites the world coffee industry to drive science-based solutions to ensure a diverse and sustainable supply of quality coffee for generations to come.
The "Breeding Factory Site", will be located at CATIE and will be where most of the breeding crosses will be made. In addition, 10 other sites will be included in different countries around the world, in order to expose the same germplasm population to diverse growing environments. According to Nick Muir, WCR plant breeding specialist, "the decision to locate the Innovea Global Breeding Center at CATIE takes advantage of the extensive existing resources and experience in coffee breeding and propagation.
For more than eight years, WCR and CATIE have been working together for the improvement of coffee growing, so on November 7 of this year a memorandum of understanding was signed to lay the foundations for cooperation between the two organizations. "The new agreement signed with WCR is the restart of a long-term alliance in which we will work to generate new improved varieties that can give sustainability to the coffee production chain in the world," said William Solano, researcher in plant genetic resources at CATIE.
Through Innovease, it seeks to form a global coffee breeding network, working specifically with partners in the countries of Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Rwanda, Uganda and the United States, which together produce 23% of the world's Coffea arabicaexports. Under this collaborative design, the cost is reduced and the speed and efficiency of breeding programs in each country is increased through access to modern breeding tools and the distribution of new germplasm diversity.
During the visit of WCR and other representatives to Costa Rica, a tour of CATIE's facilities was conducted, highlighting the International Coffee Collection, the Biotechnology Laboratory and the Hybrid Propagation and Coffee Breeding Module; "this tour allowed WCR's partner companies to understand why CATIE presents all the ideal conditions to allow the development of a global program such as Innovea", Muir highlighted.
Throughout 73 years, CATIE has guarded the most diverse international collection of C.arabica available to any user; the second in Latin America and, according to the Global Strategy for the Conservation of Coffee Genetic Resources, it is one of the four collections that, together with the "Origin" collections in Africa, safeguard the widest diversity of coffee on the planet.
The launch of Innovea represents the world's first contribution of new breeding materials in more than 50 years. Modern coffee breeding can solve multiple problems such as more durable resistance to diseases and pests, while reducing the use of pesticides; higher coffee quality in warmer areas; and, therefore, better adaptation to climate change.
William Solano, Researcher, Coffee and Cocoa Agroforestry and Plant Breeding Unit, email@example.com
Dannia Gamboa Solís, Communications Assistant, Communication and Marketing Office, firstname.lastname@example.org
World Coffee Research
Nick Muir, Plant Breeding Specialist email@example.com