- Organizations collaborated in an effort to strengthen capacities in crop improvement, biostatistics, and regenerative agriculture across six Latin American countries.
July 26, 2023. From July 10 to 14, the Technical Promotion and Research Week was held at CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) to strengthen the capabilities of local organizations in critical areas such as crop improvement, biostatistics, and regenerative agriculture. This meeting aimed to encourage the design of useful trials and the search for funding for relevant research.
Officials from important regional platforms participated in this week, such as the National Coffee Institutes and various government institutions from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Peru. In the field of cocoa, the Peruvian Cocoa Producers Association and the Superior Polytechnic School of the Litoral of Ecuador made their presence felt.
Instruction was provided by experts such as María Elena Peñaranda, scientific director of the Sustainable Science Institute, and Daniel Torres, from the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in El Salvador, who shared his experience with the sustainable project "Blue Harvest Renaissance", recognized by the Specialty Coffee Association. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) en El Salvador, quien compartió su experiencia con el proyecto sostenible “Renacer de Blue Harvest”, reconocido por la Specialty Coffee Association.
In addition, Rene León, executive secretary of the Regional Cooperative Program for Technological Development and Modernization of Coffee Cultivation (PROMECAFÉ), provided details about the fund available to support research project proposals in countries of the region.
Topics on biostatistics, genetic improvement, and regenerative agriculture were covered by CATIE professors-researchers, among them Sergio Vílchez, Rolando Cerca, Elías de Melo, and William Solano.
This training event was developed under the Maximizing Opportunities in Coffee and Cocoa in the Americas (MOCCA) program, an initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), with the collaboration of various international institutions.
The MOCCA program is focused on improving the market systems and livelihoods of coffee and cocoa farming families in six Latin American countries. One of its priorities is the development of the capacities of partners of regional platforms that conduct research processes.
In addition to the workshops and presentations, participants had the opportunity to visit at CATIE the Forest Seed Bank, the Coffee and Cocoa Collections, nurseries, the Agroforestry Coffee Trial and the Biotechnology Laboratory, accompanied by CATIE professors-researchers, as well as by Luis Diego Jiménez, leader of the Forest Seed Bank, and Carlos Araya, director of Green Business Development, Resource Planning and Strategic Alliances.
The joint effort of these institutions points to a greener and more sustainable future in Latin American agriculture, strengthening capacities and expanding research and investment opportunities.
Agroforestry and Coffee and Cocoa Genetic Improvement Unit
Karla Salazar Leiva
Communications and Marketing Office