Strengthening the capacities of technicians and specialists in Latin America to respond to coffee growing challenges
- Through a joint international diploma course, more than 100 stakeholders in the sector learned about innovations in coffee growing.
February 22, 2021. After four months, on February 17, the International Diploma in Innovative Coffee Growing, a virtual training process in which 125 technicians and specialists from the coffee sector in Latin America strengthened and expanded their skills and knowledge of modern coffee growing, was successfully completed.
A total of 16 countries were represented in this diploma course, which was a collaborative effort of the Regional Cooperative Program for the Technological Development and Modernization of Coffee Growing (PROMECAFE, its Spanish acronym), the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE, its Spanish acronym), CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), through the PROCAGICA project.
"The objective was to train and strengthen capacities, as well as to promote technical exchange among the skateholders in the coffee sector throughout the region. We set out to train technicians and specialists with innovative technology, under an integral approach, in order to contribute to the development and sustainability of coffee growing, while at the same time seeking to respond to the challenges facing coffee growing today," said René León-Gómez, Executive Secretary of PROMECAFE.
The course covered topics related to coffee physiology, genetic improvement, technology, climate change, pests and diseases, coffee farm administration and management, processing and marketing, among others.
"I am sure that the knowledge acquired will be multiplied and will strengthen coffee growing in the region in an important way. Everyone who completes this diploma course faces the challenge of passing on the knowledge and continuing to learn for the benefit of coffee growing in the region, which we need to be increasingly resilient," said Carlos Fonseca, technical manager of ICAFÉ, to the participants of the diploma course during the virtual closing ceremony.
On behalf of CATIE, the institution that coordinated the technical-scientific committee that directed the course, Elías de Melo, researcher of the Coffee and Cocoa Genetic and Agroforestry Improvement Unit, expressed his satisfaction for the collaborative effort made to develop the course. "I really consider it a luxury that the participants now have in their possession the level of presentations that were given in this training process. It is a pioneer diploma course, which represents the best in terms of coffee growing in our countries and in that sense we hope that the participants will contribute to continue with the mission of unifying the sector to move forward, under a determined collaboration", said de Melo.
Finally, Harold Gamboa, representative of IICA-PROCAGICA, extended his congratulations to the graduates and emphasized that the diploma program is an example of regional integration efforts for the coffee sector.
A total of 32 institutions in the region joined and took part in the development of the diploma course, as well as 69 specialists participated and contributed as panelists and lecturers throughout the process.
Elías de Melo
Coffee and Cocoa Genetic and Agroforestry Improvement Unit
Karla Salazar Leiva
Information Techonology and Communication