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Crop Biotech Update

USDA Expands Public-Private Partnership to Increase Global Cocoa Production

May 18, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that they are expanding their collaboration with the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) to further improve cocoa production in developing countries, stimulating economic growth, and at the same time improving the livelihoods of local farmers, producers, and processors.

For the next five years, USDA and WCF will sponsor 32 scientists and public- and private-sector professionals from cocoa-producing countries through the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program and the Cochran Fellowship Program. The fellows will visit a research institution in the U.S. to undergo a training program under the supervision of experts. After the training, the fellows and the mentors will continue their collaboration through visits and monitoring.

"Millions of people in West Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America depend upon cocoa production for their livelihoods," said Suzanne Heinen, administrator of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). "Through this public-private partnership, fellows from these regions will gain skills and knowledge that they can take back home to help their countries become more competitive in producing and exporting quality cocoa and cocoa products."

Read the USDA-FAS press release at http://www.fas.usda.gov/scriptsw/PressRelease/pressrel_dout.asp?Entry=valid&PrNum=0072-12.