Programs to sponsor 32 cocoa professionals

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The World Cocoa Foundation (W.C.F.) and the Foreign Agricultural Service (F.A.S.) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program Global Cocoa Initiative. The program strengthens sustainable agricultural practices in the cocoa sector by providing scientific training and collaborative research opportunities to visiting researchers, policymakers and university faculty.

Additionally, the W.C.F. announced a new partnership with the F.A.S. for involvement in the Cochran Fellowship Program. The partnership will provide U.S.-based training for senior and mid-level specialists and administrators from public and private sectors who are engaged in cocoa-related agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy, and marketing.

The W.C.F. and the F.A.S. jointly select the Borlaug Fellows to complete a two- to three-month fellowship in the United States. By 2016, the program will sponsor 20 cocoa scientists in total, with 10 from Africa, 5 from Southeast Asia, and 5 from the Americas. Fellows are placed in American universities or research institutions and work with a mentor to further their work. The fellows also will participate in several activities organized by the W.C.F. designed to improve their knowledge of the cocoa supply chain and build links with other researchers and industry members.

“The Cocoa Borlaug Fellowship Program is an excellent example of a successful public-private partnership that is mutually beneficial for cocoa farmers and the cocoa industry,” said Bill Guyton, president of the W.C.F. “The important work of these scientists helps to address challenges in the cocoa sector, improves cocoa production, and in turn, supports increased incomes for farmers and their communities.”

The Cochran Fellowship Program – Global Cocoa Initiative provides U.S.-based training opportunities for senior and mid-level specialists and administrators from public and private sectors that are concerned with cocoa-related agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy, and marketing. The Cocoa Cochran Fellowships will help countries to increase the quantity and improve the quality of cocoa to better meet the needs of U.S. manufacturers.

By 2016, the Cochran Fellowship Program will sponsor 12 fellows, from Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. Fellows will complete a two- to three-week fellowship in the United States through educational study tours that could include visits to W.C.F. member companies, U.S. government agencies and universities.

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