Cocoa Borlaug Fellow Alumni participate in the 16th International Cocoa Research Conference
Entry: Rhodina Cena, University of Southern Mindanao and Muhammad Junaid, Hasanuddin University
Two Cocoa Borlaug Fellow Alumni, Ms. Rhodina B. Cena (the Philippines) and Mr. Muhammad Junaid (Indonesia) participated in the Cocoa Producers’ Alliance 16th International Cocoa Conference from November 16-21, 2009 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia with the theme “Towards Rational Cocoa Production and Efficient Use for a Sustainable World Cocoa Economy”.
The said conference was attended by about 250 cocoa scientists of all disciplines and other cocoa stakeholders from all over the world which opened opportunity for us to learn about cocoa research conducted in the Southeast Asia Region and in other cocoa-producing regions of the world. It was a great chance for us to meet personally world renowned and eminent cocoa scientists whom we knew from their publications. Exchange of ideas and possible linkages and collaboration was also one of the privileges that were undertaken.
During the event, Muhammad Junaid presented his poster entitled “Detection of Thanatephorus theobromae, cause of vascular streak dieback of cacao in tissues Luwu Regency, South Sulawesi” and presented a paper during the INCOPED Workshop held last November 23, 2009. The research was carried out at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Beltsville Area Research Center Systematic Mycology and Microbiology Lab with Gary J. Samuels and Adnan Ishmaiel as well as Ade Rosmana at Hasanuddin University. The research will help scientists in the development of the phylogenic tree of VSD’s pathogen anywhere without culturing into media. This research project was conducted through his Borlaug Fellowship with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the World Cocoa Foundation.
Rhodina B. Cena also acted as one of the note takers during the first session of the conference and had a chance to attend the Asia-Pacific Regional Breeders Meeting and INGENIC Workshop together with Tracey Duffey, World Cocoa Foundation Program Director for Southeast Asia and West Africa, and regional breeders from Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Mars Incorporated scientists Smilja Lambert, Juan Carlos Motamayor Arias and Martin Gilmour also attended the workshop.
We would like to thank the Norman E. Borlaug Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the World Cocoa Foundation for giving us the opportunity and financial support to participate in this momentous event of the cocoa industry. We are going back home full of ideas and hope for the cocoa stakeholders in our respective countries.