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Coffee hybrids from CATIE will strengthen the Panamanian coffee industry

June 24, 2021. As part of the actions of the Riparian Reforestation and Agro-forestry with Coffee Systems and Soil Conservation Project in Renacimiento, Chiriquí, Panama, coffee producing families in the country received 10,000 seedlings of F1 coffee hybrids (Casiopea, Milenio, H3 and Excelencia) produced at CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), which will strengthen Panamanian coffee growing.

The official ceremony for the delivery of the hybrids to the producer families, held on June 9, was attended by more than 40 people, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA, its Spanish acronym), the Renacimiento Producers Association (APRE, its Spanish acronym), the Institute for Agricultural Innovation (IDIAP, its Spanish acronym), the Ministry of the Environment (MiAmbiente, its Spanish acronym) and the Renacimiento Municipal Mayor's Office.

Alexis Bonilla, coffee specialist at MIDA, explained to the producers the excellent characteristics of F1 hybrids in terms of cup quality, high productivity and resistance to diseases such as rust, which have increased due to the effects of climate change.

 "These genetic materials are very useful and we have wanted to obtain them for several years; thanks to this project and the efforts of the CATIE Office in Panama, today it is a reality," said Jorge Pitty, president of APRE.

For his part, Medin Jiménez, Mayor of the Municipality of Renacimiento, thanked MIDA, CATIE and APRE for the efforts made to help the coffee producing families of the district, especially now that the coffee activity has gone through difficult times.

Elvin Britton, CATIE representative in Panama, highlighted that the introduction of these materials is part of the strategy to strengthen coffee growing in Panama, in the face of climate change and the recent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also emphasized that the F1 hybrids are the result of research in genetic improvement, based on materials from CATIE's International Coffee Collection.

"We reiterate CATIE's commitment to continue supporting and promoting the coffee industry in Panama, which represents a livelihood for hundreds of Panamanian families," said Britton.

Rodrigo Luque, Director of MIDA's Agro-environmental and Climate Change Unit, also emphasized the work of the NATURA Foundation's Adaptation Fund, which financed the project under which the hybrids were delivered. He also thanked the different MIDA units involved in the effort, the producers and the project executors in the field: APRE and CATIE.

The four hybrids, after acclimatization in the nursery, will be distributed to eight producer families to establish field trials. IDIAP will also receive a significant amount of the materials, which will allow it to establish several trials at four different altitudes in the districts of Renacimiento, Tierras Altas and Boquete, all in the province of Chiriqui.



Participants in the official ceremony for the delivery of F1 coffee hybrids
from CATIE to producers in Panama.



More information/written by:

Elvin Britton
CATIE Representative in Panama
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