GUATEMALA: Improving the Breed

On a government-owned farm in Guatemala one day last week, Dr. William Cowgill (rhymes with low bill) picked a heaping basketful of coffee cherries. The cherries came from one of the trees that Cowgill, as chief of the coffee section of the joint U.S.-Guatemalan agricultural development project, had carefully tended for nearly four years. When the cherries were beaten, washed, dried, scraped, and reduced to cafe en oro (the exportable bean), visiting coffee planters could hardly believe their eyes. From the same species of tree, Coffea arabica, they—and most other Latin American producers—had seldom harvested much more than a pound...

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