International cocoa scientists now have five more years to apply to a U.S. fellowship program aimed at helping them learn better growing techniques.

That’s because the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is extending its Global Cocoa Initiative program, part of the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Program.

Originally introduced in 2007, it allows scientists from all over the world to spend two to three months in the United States studying topics such as plant pathology, entomology, agricultural economics, and food safety so that they may implement better cocoa growing and marketing techniques in their home countries.

The fellowship is jointly implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS).

“One of the main things that we do at the World Cocoa Foundation is research,” says Marisa Yoneyama, communications manager at the organization. “We fund research that improves cocoa and we hope it translates into improving livelihood and incomes for farmers.”

In addition, the nonprofit is receiving an award for its involvement in another fellowship program — the Cochran Fellowship Program’s Global Cocoa Initiative.

The award marks the first time the USDA-FAS has recognized the foundation for its involvement in the initiative, which allows scientists to focus on the management and supply side of the cocoa chain.

The World Cocoa Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit founded in 2000 that supports programs which benefit farmers in cocoa-growing regions in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Americas. The organization currently has about 70 member companies involved in the cocoa and chocolate industries around the world.