Seven different themes were identified by CIAT and CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) as possible areas of joint work in the Central American region, among which the following stand out: germplasm, cacao, coffee, sustainable livestock raising, climate change, access to markets, and Initiative 20×20.

This took place in the context of the visit of Jennifer Wiegel, regional coordinator of CIAT in Central America, to CATIE on 18 January 2018.

The coordinator shared with Muhammad Ibrahim, Director General of CATIE, as well as with Francisco Alpízar, director de la Office of Green and Inclusive Development Research; members of the Agribusiness Development Unit, and with Eduardo Somarriba, leader of CATIE’s Program of Agriculture, Livestock raising, and Agroforestry (PRAGA).

“The visit aimed to continue an in-depth study of what the opportunities or spheres of activity are for collaborating as a team. We are now ready to sign a collaboration agreement in the context of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), led by CIAT, in the framework of CGIAR; in addition, we are working on the development of an institutional framework agreement,” affirmed Wiegel.

According to Wiegel, what is being sought is a common base that can facilitate communication and cooperation between both institutions, since both organizations conduct research in the Central American region and interact with similar partners.

“The idea is to see how we are positioning ourselves together with regard to various themes, and how we are contributing to the region, complementing each other’s strengths in order to really propose information, products, and recommendations for the development of the agriculture sector and the natural resources of the region,” said Wiegel.

Another aspect that was commented on was that of forging alliances and leveraging funds jointly. “On the part of both organizations, from the highest levels to the field operations, there is a great deal of interest in cooperating and working as a team,” concluded Wiegel.

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