Technical Mission of Ecuador, technicians and producers visit INTA cocoa investigations in Costa Rica

Published at: 30 May 2023

ESPOL, INTA and Agrosavia are jointly executing a project that seeks to strengthen research and innovation capacities in cocoa production in Latin American and Caribbean countries

The Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL-Ecuador) and the National Autonomous Institute for Agricultural Research (INIAP-Ecuador), the Colombian Corporation for Agricultural Research (Agrosavia-Colombia) and the National Institute for Innovation and Transfer of Agricultural Technology (INTA- Costa Rica), jointly execute a project that seeks to strengthen research and innovation capacities in cocoa production in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, aiming at quality and low level of cadmium for differentiation in international markets and contributing to the sustainability of the cocoa chain in the region. The project is called "Multi-Agency Cocoa Platform for Latin America and the Caribbean 2030-2050" and is financed by Fontagro.

As part of the follow-up to the project, from May 2 to 6, a Technical Mission was carried out in Costa Rica, with the participation of the general coordinator of the Ecuadorian project and members of the technical team from both Ecuador and Costa Rica. The activities carried out during the Mission included: meeting with the technical team and visit to the INTA Soils Laboratory in Ochomogo. Visit to the cadmium mitigation plot, in the Brunca region to exchange with researchers and the producer on advances in alternatives for cadmium mitigation in almonds. Training for technicians and producers with a talk entitled: Let's talk about cadmium in cocoa: soil and nutritional treatments to reduce the absorption of cadmium (Cd) in cocoa crops” given by PhD Eduardo Chávez from ESPOL and general coordinator of the project. The second talk consisted in sharing the results of the dot layer in cocoa in Costa Rica. In addition, the test on the missing element in the greenhouses of the Los Diamantes Experimental Station was visited, with the participation of 45 people. In parallel, meetings were held with INTA authorities and Ecuador and Costa Rica project coordinators to define actions and agreements. The Mission was used to produce a video of the project in relation to the 25th anniversary of FONTAGRO:

Within the framework of this exchange, the NORTICO farm in Turrialba of producer Aldo Sánchez was visited. This initiative is a successful family business, where it was possible to observe the cocoa production system, the manufacturing process, and the marketing of artisanal chocolate. This initiative has a strong environmental and social commitment, in addition to having managed to articulate production with community tourism, for this we share the following video that shows the experience of the producer and its articulation with the project:

The Cocoa Multi-Agency Platform 2030-2050 aims to develop technologies that allow it to be positioned at the regional level and improve the institutional capacities of each of the member countries, taking advantage of the knowledge generated and the collaborative work of the multidisciplinary teams of each partner country. The project pays attention to the programs and policies of the Inter-American Development Bank, reducing the gaps between countries and promoting access to markets for contaminant-free fine cocoa.

With the support of
Fondo Coreano de Alianza para el Conocimiento en Tecnología e Innovación (KPK)