- The event took place as part of the National Coffee Fair at the institution's campus.
September 23, 2023. In an effort to promote knowledge and innovation in the coffee industry, the CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) offered a technical seminar to a large number of producers from the cantons of Turrialba, Jiménez, and Paraíso.
The event, organized by the ICAFE (Coffee Institute of Costa Rica), was a valuable opportunity to share some of the most important research findings from the institution and marked the beginning of the National Coffee Fair held on campus.
Joaquín Lizano, a member of the board of directors of ICAFE, welcomed the attendees and mentioned that it is an honor to collaborate with CATIE in research and technology transfer. "For 50 years, CATIE has been a cornerstone for our country in supporting the improvement of production in various crops, so it's the best place to kick off an activity supporting everyone in the sector," he said.
After presenting a recognition to the director general, Muhammad Ibrahim, for the institution's 50 years, the series of presentations began. The director general himself thanked the producers for their visit and started by emphasizing the significant participation of women in the seminar.
He then provided an overview of coffee production and consumption on a global scale, updating the knowledge about the market. He detailed how the Netherlands has become the world's leading coffee consumer, followed by Finland and Sweden, before discussing the importance of the value chain in the production process.
"It's important to highlight the socio-economic function of the sector. When we see figures like the 125 million people who depend on coffee production, we understand its significance," he mentioned. He then referred to the importance of forest cover and how a large number of agricultural products, including coffee, are compromising it.
Next, William Solano, Researcher at the Agroforestry and Coffee and Cocoa Genetic Improvement Unit, provided insights into what is being done to address the coffee industry's major challenge.
"The coffee we're drinking daily is at risk and could eventually disappear between 2050 and 2070 because many areas where it's grown may no longer be suitable. To prevent this, we need to produce varieties that adapt to these new climate conditions. CATIE's strategy is to generate highly productive materials that yield excellent coffee while being resistant to diseases or pests," Solano explained.
Luis Diego Jiménez, leader of the Forest Seed Bank, shared some of the innovations and alternatives promoted by CATIE for more sustainable and resilient coffee production within his presentation. "For example, sustainable coffee farming, energy efficiency, waste management, and technology adoption. Agroforestry approaches in coffee, research with the potential to significantly improve coffee productivity, quality, climate resilience, and farmers' livelihoods, as well as the restoration of productive landscapes," he mentioned.
Finally, Reinhold Muschler, coordinator of the Agrobiodiversity and Food Security Unit, focused on introducing the coffee producers to the Transforma Innova Costa Rica Program, a joint project with ICAFE and the Ministry of Agriculture that promotes climate-smart transformation in Costa Rica's coffee, livestock, and banana sectors.
After the seminar, the participants made their way to the fairground located beside the Henry Wallace building to attend the inauguration ceremony of the National Coffee Fair, which extends until the next weekend.
At this event, the organization paid tribute to CATIE for its 50 years and to CUC (University College of Cartago), which was the dedicated institution for this year's fair.
The Turrialba National Coffee Fair is celebrating its 5th edition this year, held in honor of National and International Coffee Day. The organizing committee is comprised of the Integral Development Association of Aquiares, Cafetalera Aquiares, Centro Universitario de Cartago (CUC), with the support of the Municipality of Turrialba, CATIE, and ICAFE.
"For the organizing committee, it's a pleasure to welcome coffee lovers who visit us annually from all over the country to enjoy the array of activities we've prepared, learn about our history, and taste the best coffees in the country," commented Jesús Romero, a member of the organizing committee.
Luis Diego Jiménez
Leader, Forest Seed Bank
Esteban Rodríguez Zamora
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