News Releases

UWI-CRU launches “Partnership in Conservation” programme

For Release Upon Receipt - July 25, 2012

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago The Cocoa Research Unit (CRU) of The University of the West Indies will launch a novel programme of partnership with communities of farmers, called “Partnership in Conservation” at the Institute of Critical Thinking, UWI St. Augustine on Friday, July 27, 2012 at 9am.

Farmers and others involved in the cocoa industry have been invited to participate in a series of activities designed to encourage the conservation and use of genetic resources, by demonstrating how livelihoods can be supported through conservation. Best practices in conservation, use and sustainable development will be shared, with a long-term goal of establishing a practical learning school of shared experiences.  

As part of this programme, a project entitled “A Participatory Approach to Sustainable Cocoa Genetic Resource Management,” is being undertaken by the CRU. Initially, 50 groups of farmers were selected and will be given planting material of different cocoa varieties from its central collection in the La Chaguaramas Estate at La Reunion for conservation purposes. The CRU has engaged the cocoa growing regions in the country and has had an enthusiastic response from those communities.

At this launch, the first group of participants will be honoured as partners in conservation and awarded certificates.  Among the speakers carded are representatives from the Ministry of Food Production, Deputy Campus Principal Professor Rhoda Reddock and the Director of the CRU, Professor Pathmanathan Umaharan.  

As the Cocoa Research Unit marks its 50th anniversary, it continues to try to build awareness of its work and international contribution to the cocoa industry, and to educate the public and potential investors on the quality of local cocoa and how it can become a large contributor in the diversification of the economy because of the enormous range of possibilities it offers.

This event, including the celebration of World Chocolate Day in October, is part of an unfolding series that will continue throughout the year.  

For more information please contact Dr. Surendra Surujdeo-Maharaj at 662-2002 ext. 82268.

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About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences. 

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)