TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

USDA and World Cocoa Foundation announce fellows programme for participants from AGOA countries

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Source: CSR Wire (USA)

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that in 2008 the Global Cocoa Borlaug Fellows Program is being offered to four Fellows from DR-CAFTA countries, to two Fellows from Mexico (NAFTA), and to seven Fellows from African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) countries. She also announce that USDA will expand the program to Southeast Asia, including three Fellows from Indonesia and the Philippines, and to the Andean region, including four Fellows from Ecuador and two from Peru.

In commenting on the announcement, Ms. Sheikh said, "The U.S. Department of Agriculture is pleased to partner with the World Cocoa Foundation in supporting the exchange of cocoa scientists from Latin America, Southeast Asia and West Africa under the Borlaug Fellowship Program. This program will help build the local capacity of scientists to address disease and integrated pest management of the cocoa crop, best cultural practices, post-harvest technologies, and strengthen all aspects of the cocoa supply chain."

Bill Guyton, President, World Cocoa Foundation, said, "Each year, nearly 30 percent of the world's cocoa crop is lost to a variety of pests and disease. Thanks to the Borlaug Fellowship Program, research capacity in important cocoa-producing countries will increase, and farmers will directly benefit from improved productivity and incomes for this important crop."

Funded and implemented in part by the World Cocoa Foundation, the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program objectives include building research capacity in cocoa-producing countries to support competitiveness and modernization, improving researchers' understanding of the cocoa supply chain, and strengthening relationships with U.S. research institutes.

The 2008 Program sponsors science Fellows from DR-CAFTA, NAFTA and AGOA countries to complete a six-week research fellowship in the United States. Fellows work closely with assigned mentors, learn new research techniques, access fully equipped libraries, and learn about public-private partnerships. Skills and knowledge obtained through the program will be applied in Fellows' own research and teaching activities, and be shared with colleagues in their home institutions and countries. Additionally, the mentors will travel to each recipient country to work with the Fellow and provide additional training.

The Fellows were announced at the World Cocoa Foundation's 13th Partnership Meeting, being held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on May 21-22. The Meeting was attended by nearly 300 participants, including farmers, industry, non-governmental organizations, government officials and scientists from over 20 countries who are focused on the potential of sustainably grown cocoa to significantly improve the economic well-being and quality of life of farmers in the region and globally.

About the World Cocoa Foundation

Established in 2000, the World Cocoa Foundation is a leader in promoting economic and social development and environmental stewardship in 15 cocoa-producing countries around the world. With nearly 70 member companies from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, the Foundation actively supports a range of farm-level programs harnessing sustainable farming practices to improve the quality of life for the millions of smallholder farmers growing this unique crop. For more information about the World Cocoa Foundation, visit: www.worldcocoafoundation.org.

For more information please contact:

Bill Guyton, President

World Cocoa Foundation

+1-703-790-5012

www.worldcocoafoundation.org/