Speech Title : "Ensuring the Future of Coffee through Research and Innovation"
Timothy Schilling is the Chief Executive Officer of World Coffee Research (WCR), a 501 c5 independent collaborative research and development non-profit organization of the global coffee industry to grow, improve, and protect supplies of quality coffee to fuel the growth of the dynamic coffee industry. WCR is funded and driven by the global coffee industry, guided by producers and executed by renowned scientists in producing countries. Based at Texas A&M’s Norman Borlaug Institute, World Coffee Research serves as the impetus and mechanism by which the supplies of Arabica coffees and the quality of those supplies will be increased through partnerships among origin countries leading to the development and extension of a new generation of climate resilient, rust resistant, high quality Arabica pure line and F1 hybrid varieties.
In 2012, when first reports of serious coffee leaf rust were circulating, Dr. Schilling sounded alarms and organized the first Coffee Leaf Rust Summit in Guatemala. That summit resulted in concrete actions including development bank support loans to national governments for fungicides and access to credit for farmers through guarantees from USAID. The most sustainable result, however, was a M Rust Research and Development program for Central America that the coffee roasting industry and USAID awarded to WCR and PROMECAFE in 2014.
Dr. Schilling is an agronomist, manager and researcher with strong market orientation and experience in agribusiness and cooperative development. His leadership as the Director of the USAID PEARL and SPREAD projects was crucial to the very successful entry of Rwanda into the American and European Specialty Coffee markets. This new multi-million dollar sector has doubled incomes for over 100,000 small coffee producers and has assisted the Government change the image of Rwanda in the international press. Dr. Schilling has led several other major international initiatives including the SPARC project in Mali where Schilling set up the Malian Agricultural Research Planning and Funding system at Mali’s Institute of Agricultural Research, IER. As Associate Director of the Collaborative Research Support Program for Sorghum and Millet, Dr. Schilling worked with Universities, the U.S. Congress, USAID, and National Agricultural Institutes in Africa and Latin America to set up research programs in 6 different countries to increase sorghum and millet food supplies. In Cameroon, as the National Peanut Research Program leader, Dr. Schilling developed and released three high yielding, short season peanut varieties that use an escape mechanism to resist the devastating Sahelian droughts.
World Coffee Leaders Forum Organizing Committee
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