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Texas A&M Establishes Center for Coffee Research and Education

Photo by Dr. Leo Lombardini.

Photo by Dr. Leo Lombardini.

The Texas A&M University Board of Regents voted last week to create a dedicated research center within the university’s Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture devoted to advanced research into coffee with the goals of improved quality and sustainability throughout the global supply.

The Center for Coffee Research and Education “will seek to make rapid gains in research to sustain and grow the world’s coffee supply,” Dr. Craig Nessler, director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, said in an announcement following the vote. Dr. Leo Lombardini has been named the center’s director.

Researchers within the Borlaug Institute have already delved deeply into coffee through the institute’s association with the industry-supported coffee nonprofit organization World Coffee Research, which is currently overseeing multiple programs and initiatives designed to better understand and protect existing coffee varieties, and to protect the viability of quality arabica coffee in the short-, long- and extra-long-terms.

Photo by Dr. Leo Lombardini.

Photo by Dr. Leo Lombardini.

“Coffee has suffered from a lack of advanced research in areas like genetics and disease resistance,” WCR Director Tim Schilling said in last week’s AgriLife announcement. “With the creation of the new center, one of the world’s best agricultural research institutions is adding its might to the effort to solve key issues facing one of the world’s most important crops.”

Here’s a bit more from the announcement on what to expect from the center:

The center will offer researchers and students the rare opportunity to engage in fundamental research, while at the same time providing the opportunity to conduct significant parts of their research directly on location at coffee farms of producing countries, Nessler said. It also offers the opportunity to collaborate with coffee scientists from other coffee research institutions and companies around the world.

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