Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Costa Rica

CATIE is a unique regional research, higher education and outreach institution devoted to environmental issues including sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. The Center’s activities focus on tropical America, with specific emphasis on Mesoamerica and the Caribbean.

Through an agreement between the government of Costa Rica and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Center was created in 1973 as a non-profit civil association, whose regular members were countries of the Americas and the Caribbean, and the IICA. The Center’s activities are a continuation of the academic and research programmes originally carried out by the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Sciences, established in 1942, and its regular membership has grown to include all of Central America, plus Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic.

Over the past sixty years, CATIE has contributed to innovations in the areas of tropical sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. Its efforts have focused on small and medium scale farmers, but the Center’s work has also impacted the management of ecosystems in the American tropics and around the globe. New knowledge, technologies and management practices, enhanced germplasm, new insights into the policy sphere, opportunities for higher education and training, and support to capacity building have been CATIE’s priorities.

CATIE’s work benefits the following target groups:
Small and medium scale resource poor producers, especially those:
  - living in extreme poverty
  - with minimum means to diversify and become competitive
  - generally disenfranchised people, such as the rural landless, indigenous groups and women
Rural communities and local organizations
Producer associations, cooperatives and similar business organizations of small and medium scale producers
Business-oriented farmers and agro-industrial entrepreneurs generating rural employment.
CATIE’s main objective is to contribute to poverty reduction and rural develop¬ment in the American tropics, by promoting diversified and competitive agriculture and sustain¬able management of natural resources through the following activities:
Assessments, e.g. environmental impact assessments (EIA), strategic environmental assessments (SEA) and integrated assessments (IA)
  - National and international market analyses, with emphasis on niche markets for certified wood and organic products, non-timber forest products and non-traditional agricultural and horticultural products; provision of market intelligence for agricultural and forest eco-products (two web-based market intelligence systems); assessments of international accreditation and certification systems; analyses of national and international trade policies and the related regulatory framework
  - Development of economic incentives, including forest incentives, environmental service payments and price premiums for environmentally friendly products
  - Development of concepts and methodologies for rural enterprise development and integrated supply chain and value chain management.

CATIE’s capacity-building services include:
  1. On-site training and technical assistance within project frameworks or as per request of national or local-level institutions
  2. Training at CATIE headquarters
  3. National and international conferences and workshops organized at CATIE headquarters
  4. Networking through local, national and regional networks and learning alliances established in the fields of rural enterprise development, development of community-based forest enterprises, and enhanced technical services for rural development
  5. Policy Dialogue with the Ministries of Agriculture as CATIE's governing board, as well as the Ministries of Environment and Industry and Commerce.

For further information on CATIE, please visit

Contact: Dr. Pedro Ferreira
Director General
P.O. Box 7170
Turrialba, Costa Rica
Tel: +506-556 6081 / 558 2000
Fax: +506-556 6166