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EU, IICA and CATIE promote diversified production model to create food bank for communities in Costa Rica

  • Food crops on agro-forestry farms at CATIE aim to benefit vulnerable populations in Turrialba and Coronado

San José, 27 April 2020 - Faced with the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Union (EU), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) have strengthened their partnership to support food security in the communities of Turrialba and Vázquez de Coronado in Costa Rica by creating a food bank.

The initiative to set up this food bank was originally proposed by CATIE and already has advances in the development of the food production model in diversified agro-forestry plots.

The partnership between the three organizations is supported by the cooperation actions of the PROCAGICA and AGRO-INNOVA projects, through which the food bank project at the IICA-CATIE experimental and commercial farm will be promoted.

Diversified agro-forestry production models will be used to guarantee the production of quality food throughout the year, while these plots will play an important role in the virtual training of thousands of producers in the use of innovations that improve resilience and sustainable production.

In the first stage, the food bank will hold white corn, beans, yucca, sweet potato, plantain, ayotes, banana and fruit trees of great nutritional value, such as soursop, citrus and guayaba; in addition to some minor species such as poultry and tilapia.                                                   

The intention is that this food will be distributed to families in the cantons of Turrialba and Coronado, whose access to food has been made difficult by the Covid-19 pandemic. The EU, IICA and CATIE are working together and thus demonstrating their responsibility and solidarity with the communities surrounding their main facilities. 

This model of food production and productive diversification will also be adapted in the countries where PROCAGICA and AGRO-INNOVA projects are working in the Central American region, through which the families of small producers will have access to research and innovations that will enable them to alleviate problems of food security and nutrition. 

PROCAGICA stands for Programa Centroamericano de Gestión Integral del Manejo de la Roya del Café (Central American Program for Integrated Management of Coffee Rust), while AGRO-INNOVA is the innovative multi-layer agro-forestry systems project for the Central American Dry Corridor.


More information:


Erick Quirós,
Coordinator of Special Affairs for the Central Region of IICA
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Guillermo Deltlefsen,
Coordinator of the AGROINNOVA Project by CATIE.
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