- His purpose was to learn about CATIE's work, its contribution to Costa Rica and the region, as well as the projects financed with German funds.
March 2, 2023. Daniel Kriener, German Ambassador to Costa Rica, accompanied by his wife, Petra Kriener, toured the CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) campus on March 2nd.
The visit began with a meeting led by Muhammad Ibrahim, Director General of CATIE, who was accompanied by Leida Mercado, Director of the Research Division for Inclusive Green Development; Carlos Araya, Director of Strategic Alliances and Green Business; Claudia Sepúlveda, Coordinator of the Livestock and Environmental Management Unit; and Reinhold Muschler, Coordinator of the Agro-biodiversity and Food Security Unit.
Ibrahim commented that cooperation between Germany and CATIE began in the mid-1970s, and highlighted some of the results obtained, for example, the development of sustainable agro-forestry systems that today benefit thousands of farmers and rural communities by improving the productivity and sustainability of their crops, such as coffee and cocoa. He also summarized the projects currently implemented by CATIE in the region with German funds, from Mexico to Ecuador.
In the area of education, the achievements have also been positive since during this period, CATIE has developed relationships with the Universities of Gottingen, Freiburg and Hohenheim.
With GIZ, CATIE cooperates in projects on coffee NAMAs in Costa Rica, watershed management in Bolivia, Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in Latin America, and most recently, in a bilateral proposal for a low carbon economy in Costa Rica.
In the Amazon Basin, CATIE has worked with GIZ to promote sustainable supply chains for agricultural products and sustainable tourism. In Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, it has promoted sustainable forest management.
In Mexico, with funds from the International Climate Initiative IKI, the Center implemented the Biodiversity and Sustainable Agroforestry and Livestock Landscapes project, known as BioPaSOS, promoting biodiversity conservation in livestock landscapes and sustainable, low-carbon livestock farming.
In Honduras, the NAMAFacility project has a carbon neutral approach for 211 cattle farms.
The Ambassador visited the Orthodox Seed Bank and the cold chamber where hundreds of seeds of importance to Mesoamerican agriculture are stored, where Daniel Fernandez, in charge of CATIE's Orthodox Seed Bank, explained the importance of safeguarding this genetic resource and then led the visit to CATIE's International Coffee Collection, which is the second largest in the world.
Afterwards, the International Cocoa Collection was visited, where Mariela Leandro, researcher of the Agroforestry and Genetic Improvement of Coffee and Cocoa Unit of CATIE, mentioned aspects such as the work carried out by the Center to reduce diseases in cocoa cultivation, the flavor of cocoa according to its species and chocolate as a final product, among other things.
Finally, the livestock module was visited, where Francisco Casasola, researcher of the Livestock and Environmental Management Unit, detailed CATIE's work on animal feeding, emissions reduction and waste management.
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