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CATIE expands its cooperation with KoLFACI for coffee research in Latin America
- Institutions will carry out projects in eight countries that aim to increase the sustainable production of small coffee producers through the use of innovative technologies
Through the signing of an agreement, CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) and the Korean Cooperation for Food and Agriculture in Latin America (KoLFACI) committed to work together to increase the sustainable production of small-scale coffee producers in eight Latin American and Caribbean countries.
These actions will be carried out within the project entitled "Research on varieties and types of pruning and fertilization projects to increase sustainable coffee production by small farmers", which aims, through innovation, to use technologies that combine traditional and improved varieties of coffee with different types of pruning and reinforced with a fertilization program.
Muhammad Ibrahim, CATIE's director general, said that this project expands the joint working relationship that CATIE has been developing with KoLFACI for the past four years, which began with specific projects in cocoa and has yielded very good results in the development of good agricultural practices and the use of superior cocoa varieties to significantly strengthen cocoa production in the region. "The possibility of CATIE becoming a research node for KoLFACI in Latin America and the Caribbean is being evaluated, so that this alliance will allow us to improve the productivity of key crops for the region and make them more resilient to climate change, improving the quality of life of families," said Ibrahim.
For his part, Rolando Cerda, coordinator and researcher of CATIE's Agro-forestry, Coffee and Cocoa Genetic Improvement Unit, explained that small coffee producers and technicians from Latin American and Caribbean countries, in general, need to reinforce their knowledge and skills on the types of pruning that can be applied to coffee plantations. He added that good coffee pruning is essential to achieve full production and good yields, which are currently low in the coffee plantations of small Latin American producers.
According to Cerda, this project aims to develop innovative technologies that combine promising coffee varieties and types of pruning in each country, installing demonstration plots with traditional coffee varieties and in coffee plantations with improved varieties; determine the appropriate doses of fertilization for each combination of pruning and variety, based on a projection of nutrient balance; monitor costs and income with the technologies; increase the capacities of local researchers and students in the region to develop sustainable research and extension and disseminate innovative technologies in each country through workshops and development of teaching materials such as manuals and videos.
The project has a duration of three years (2020-2023), with the possibility of expansion, and will be carried out in eight countries: Bolivia, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Rolando Cerda B., Ph.D.
Cocoa, Coffee and Agro-forestry
Cris Soto Gómez
Information, Technology and Communication