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Cochran Program for Colombia and Ecuador

Best Practices for Harvest and Post-Harvest of Cacao Program Latin America and the Caribbean

Project: Cochran Program for Colombia and Ecuador
Best Practices for Harvest and Post-Harvest of Cacao Program Latin America and the Caribbean
Sponsor: USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service
Implementing Partner: Penn State University
PI:  Siela Maximova
Co-PIs: Mark Guiltinan, Helene Hopfer, Joshua Lambert, Gregory Ziegler (Penn State) Ricardo Goenaga (USDA-ARS, Puerto Rico)
Dates: Jan. 2017

I. Overview
As a complimentary activity to the Cacao for Peace Project, The Cochran Fellowship Program’s Latin America and Caribbean Region has requested that the Penn State team design and deliver a training program focused on understanding how to improve the quality of the cacao end product, or cocoa, including flavor and aroma.

II. General Objectives for Penn State
The Fellows that will participate in this training program represent the diverse cacao farming sectors in Colombia and Ecuador.  Thus the program is designed to provide theoretical and hands-on training in all aspects of cacao production, harvest and postharvest practices with emphasis on cacao quality and flavor. The fellows will gain understanding of all components of the value chain from cultivation to end product, including aspects of cocoa product marketing.  The program will include sample preparation and sensory evaluation. Additionally the program aims to enhance trade linkages between the U.S. and South American companies and will include visits and networking with US researchers and industry representatives.

III. Participants
The programs will include a total of six participants selected by USDA, Cochran Program selection committee: (1) FAS Agricultural Marketing Specialist and (4) Fellows from Colombia, and (1) Fellow from Ecuador.

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