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Ministers of Agriculture of Costa Rica and Honduras visited CATIE
- Both were more familiar with the work of the institution and its research and education programs
February 4, 2020. On January 31, Mauricio Guevara, Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock of Honduras, and Renato Alvarado, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica, made a field trip to the headquarters of CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) in Turrialba, Costa Rica, to learn more about the Center's work, its research programs and its Graduate School and how it can continue to support the agricultural sector of Central American countries.
Both Ministers are members of the Superior Council, which governs CATIE and is made up of the Ministers of Agriculture of 13 Latin American and Caribbean countries, which are regular or adherent members of the Center.
The Ministers were accompanied on their visit by Muhammad Ibrahim, Director General of CATIE, and leading members of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
They toured the International Coffee Collection and the International Cocoa Collection, sites where a large genetic diversity of great importance for the future of both crops is preserved. In the case of cocoa, they were also shown the outstanding characteristics of CATIE's cocoa clones in terms of quality, productivity and disease tolerance.
They also visited the climate-smart dairy, which is used as a training centre for technicians, researchers and students from the region who want to learn about low emission livestock and silvo-pastoral systems.
They also toured CATIE's Botanical Garden, where they learned about the diversity of tropical fruits, some of them exotic, that are preserved there, their activities to support tourism, as well as undertakings that have begun to be developed to generate personal care products and food based on plants and fruits from the garden.
In addition, they learned about the work of the Forest Seed Bank, as well as its work to vegetative propagate the F1 Hybrids of coffee, which in turn are characterized by their quality, high productivity and disease tolerance.
Then the tour continued to the Ecosystem Modeling Laboratory, where they were introduced to different initiatives that the Center is developing in Costa Rica and Honduras using innovative technologies in areas such as livestock, mangroves, forest fires and agro-forestry, among others.
Finally, they shared a lunch with the Dean of the Graduate School and students from Honduras and Costa Rica to learn about their experiences and CATIE's education model.
At the end of the day, the Ministers recognized the potential that exists at CATIE and launched an invitation to their counterparts in the Central American countries to visit the institution so that they can learn about the new opportunities that the Center offers them to generate cooperation opportunities and define topics in which it can support them in facing the challenges of the agricultural sector.
Karla Salazar Leiva
Information Technology and Communication