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Central America and the Caribbean analyze their regional coffee research and technical assistance agendas
- Research, extension and advisory services in coffee growing are essential to increase productivity and improve sustainability in coffee regions
November 6th, 2020. Ensuring innovation and continuous improvement in the research, extension and education programs of coffee institutes in Central America and the Caribbean is an important task on the road to sustainable coffee growing. In this sense, nearly 40 decision makers and technicians from these institutes are participating virtually in the Regional Workshop on National Platforms for Research and Technical Assistance in Coffee on November 6th.
The objective of this workshop is to strengthen the technical capacities of the participants through the exchange of knowledge of the research and technical assistance platforms of the coffee institutes and organizations associated with the Central American Program for the Integrated Management of Coffee Rust (PROCAGICA, its Spanish acronym) in the region, thus promoting mechanisms for its improvement.
"What we encourage is an important exchange of experiences and knowledge among the coffee institutes of Central America and the Caribbean that allows us to analyze their regional research and technical assistance agendas. Research, extension, and advisory services in coffee growing are essential to increase productivity and improve sustainability in coffee regions. On the other hand, these services help producers to face the new challenges of coffee growing, using new tools and technology with effective teaching and learning processes, which are focused on small, medium and large coffee growers," said Elias de Melo, coordinator of the research and capacity building component of PROCAGICA.
The workshop is organized jointly by CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the European Union, PROMECAFE, ANACAFE, IHCAFE, Consejo Salvadoreño del Café (The Salvadoran Coffee Council), INTA, ICAFE, MIDA and INDOCAFE, as part of PROCAGICA.
During its development, the workshop covered topics such as the challenges and issues of research and technical assistance in Mesoamerican coffee growing. Then, there was an opportunity to learn about the status of research and technical assistance in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic, by each of the coffee institutes.
This was followed by a synthesis of the current state of coffee research and technical assistance in the region and, finally, a proposal for strategies to improve research and technical assistance, as well as conclusions and follow-up agreements.
The results of this workshop will work as inputs for PROMECAFE's strategic planning.
Elías de Melo
Coffee and Cocoa Genetic and Agro-forestry Improvement Unit
Karla Salazar Leiva
Information Technology and Communication