Skip to main content
FONTAGRO provides $250,000 grant for tropical research to Centro Agronómico de Investigación y Enseñanza

Representatives of the Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Centro Agronómico de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), met today to sign an agreement providing for a US$250,000 grant for research into producing a medicinal plant, Smilax spp., on a sustainable commercial basis in Central America.

The other participant institutions in the research consortium are the University of Costa Rica, the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, and the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua.

IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias signed the agreement for the Bank as legal representative of FONTAGRO, and Pedro Ferreira, as CATIE’s Director General, signed for the research consortium.

CATIE is a research and education center based in Turrialba, Costa Rica, which serves tropical countries of the Americas.

A nutraceutical, extract from roots of Smilax spp. has been used as a medicine since pre-Colombian times. It produces nutritional and general health benefits.

A goal of the research project is to determine how the plant can be produced on a commercial basis while protecting the environment.

FONTAGRO is a consortium made of 13 governments and other organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean to promote strategic agricultural research.

Jump back to top