- KoLFACI recognized Cerda's contribution to innovative coffee and cocoa projects in Latin America.
December 8, 2023. Korea-Latin America Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (KoLFACI) has awarded the 2023 Global Cooperation in Agricultural Technologies Award to Rolando Cerda, coordinator of the Coffee and Cocoa Agroforestry and Genetic Improvement Unit at CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center).
This award, granted by the Korea Rural Development Administration (RDA), recognizes Cerda's outstanding work in the implementation of two research and development projects in the Latin America and Caribbean region, one for coffee and the other for cocoa, funded by KoLFACI.
The Global Cooperation in Agricultural Technologies Award is an annual recognition given by RDA to researchers who demonstrate active participation and promising results in international projects. The award certificate highlights Cerda's considerable contribution to international agricultural technology cooperation projects promoted by the RDA.
The KoLFACI coffee project, implemented in eight countries and led by CATIE, focuses on participatory research on varieties and types of pruning, with adequate fertilization to increase sustainable smallholder coffee production. This project is generating information on the best pruning systems or types of pruning for improved varieties in each country, and will continue until 2026.
In parallel, the KoLFACI cocoa project, also coordinated by CATIE, called Improving cocoa production through the use of improved germplasm and climate-smart agriculture practices, also involves eight Latin American countries. This project is demonstrating, through a network of research demonstration plots, that cocoa yields can be increased by at least three times compared to national yields, with the combination of improved clones, a well-managed agroforestry design and the application of best practices.
Both projects, with CATIE as regional coordinator, provide guidance and technical assistance to achieve the research objectives set out in the KoLFACI cooperation framework.
"The work carried out by CATIE, represented in this case in Rolando Cerda, underscores the importance of research and development in the agricultural sector, particularly in vital crops such as coffee and cocoa, which are fundamental to the economy and livelihoods of many families in Latin America," concluded Muhammad Ibrahim, CATIE's director general.
About Rolando Cerda
Mr. Cerda is an Agricultural Engineer (UMSA, Bolivia), with a Master's degree in Ecological Agriculture and Agroforestry (CATIE, Costa Rica), and a Ph.D. in Ecological and Agronomic Sciences (SupAgro, France). He is a specialist in agroforestry systems with perennial crops (coffee, cocoa, home gardens and others).
He has worked in several research and development projects at the regional level. He coordinated the development of Farmer Field Schools for producer families, with the objective of reaching more than 10,000 rural families in Central America. Developed research on the evaluation of multiple ecosystem services (provisioning, pest and disease regulation, soil quality, carbon sequestration) for the design and management of sustainable agroforestry systems.
Currently, he works at CATIE as coordinator of the Coffee and Cocoa Agroforestry and Genetic Improvement Unit, and as a professor in the Master of Sustainable Agriculture and Agroforestry.
Agroforestry and Coffee and Cocoa Genetic Improvement Unit
Karla Salazar Leiva
Communications and Marketing Office