Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

Partnering with Costa Rica to help farmers face climate change

28 Jul 2016

In May, Bioversity International signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture of Costa Rica in Turrialba. The agreement will enhance knowledge, information management, agricultural extension and public-private partnerships to enable farmers to cope with extreme weather events and attain food and nutrition security in the country.

Climate change is one of the greatest environmental threats facing humanity. In Costa Rica, due to its geographical position, the effects of climate change are having an increasingly serious impact on economic activities and human safety. Agricultural production in particular is being adversely affected, for example, through periods of both drought and excessive rain. This means that new agricultural approaches are needed that take into account the variables of a changing climate.

This agreement initiates a relationship in which the agricultural sector, and especially farmers, will receive direct benefits through participatory research and methods according to their needs. This means that they will develop their capacity to make informed decisions on what genetic materials would be more appropriate to grow in terms of its resilience to their specific conditions.

"One of the topics we will be working on with our partners will be studies about the damage produced by different climate events and formulation of strategies to be adapting the agriculture” explains Dr. Jacob van Etten – the Bioversity International Costa Rica Office coordinator. “Usually there is an immediate response in giving support and aid to farmers when a climatic event happens, but a strong long-term plan is urgently required due that these events are becoming more frequent".

Signing the MOU agreement in Costa Rica, May 2016.The signing of the 'Agricultural Biodiversity, Agro-Environment and Diffusion Mechanisms' agreement took place in the campus of the Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE). Attendees included Dr. Felipe Arauz, the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of the Government of Costa Rica; the Bioversity International Costa Rica team; Dr. Carlos Araya Fernández, the Executive Director of the National Institute of Innovation and Transfer Agricultural Technology (INTA); and Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, the Director General of CATIE. 

The applied scientific knowledge and best practices which will be developed in cooperation with Costa Rican institutions and private stakeholders will strengthen the agricultural sector in the country.

For more information, contact:
Jacob van Etten

Bioversity International has worked in Costa Rica since 2006.
Find out more about our work in Costa Rica


Top photo: A multi-functional landscape in Turrialba, Costa Rica. A hydropower dam manages water flows and electricity. A mix of farmland and forest can also be observed.  Credit: Bioversity International/C.Zanzanaini

Bottom photo:
Front row l-r:  Juan Carlos Jiménez - Collaborator, SEPSA; Ana Gómez - Executive Director, SEPSA; Anna Muller - Bioversity International; Orlando Barrientos-SEPSA; Carlos Araya - Executive Director, INTA; Vesalio Mora - PhD student; David Brown-Bioversity International; Rosa Alfaro-Guest, USAID CATIE.

Back row l-r: Maarten Van Zonnerweld - Bioversity Intenational; Dr.Felipe Araúz - Minister of Agriculture, Costa Rica; Luis Fernando Allen - Bioversity International; Jacob van Etten - Bioversity International-Coordinator, Muhammad Ibrahim - Director General, CATIE; Cindy Castillo - Bioversity International; Brandon Madriz-Bioversity International; Karol Araya-Bioversity International; Kaue - Bioversity International.