Colombia

FRB visit raises morale in Colombia

When Foods Resource Bank and Mennonite delegations visit the farmers who participate in FRB’s “Cacao not Coca” program in the Chocó region of Colombia, it becomes clear that the moral support implicit in their presence is quite meaningful.

The program encourages Afro-descendant and indigenous families whose desire is to turn away from illegal coca production, to return to traditional farming through training and follow-up. In May, visitors and farmers alike were shocked to find that their rice, vegetable and cacao (cocoa) crops had been erroneously wiped out by aerial spraying of glyphosate,

04/02/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Sowing peace, building food security after armed conflict in Colombia

After decades of armed conflict, FRB’s Colombia-Sincelejo program seeks to support human rights and peace building through training in sustainable agriculture, water management, organizational capacity building, and community transformation.The population suffered heavy personal losses during the nearly 50 years of conflict, as a result of the country-wide violence, displacement, corruption, and environmental degradation.

Colombia is now in the process of peace dialogues, and local program staff is committed to standing with the people

11/08/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Returning to Traditional Cacao Production in Colombia

Newsletter: 

Communities in the Colombia-Chocó program are turning from growing coca to raising native cacao (pronounced ca-COW) trees, whose fruit is processed into cocoa powder and chocolate. They traditionally lived off agriculture and fishing, but because of the economic isolation and lack of alternative employment in the region, many in this vulnerable population began illegally planting coca for the production of coca paste, to be made into cocaine. This was a highly lucrative but extremely dangerous activity. Colombian armed forces then began forcible fumigations to kill coca plants, once again plunging people into unemployment and risk.The program is now adding the cultivation of cacao to rice production as a way for the communities to produce their own food, earn income, and improve their quality of life.

02/18/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Small Loans, Big Impact for Colombian Farmers

Newsletter: 

Jorge’s entire farm is visible from the ridge above it, as it falls down the steep slope and into the curving valley around a small stream. All told, Jorge cultivates about two hectares of land in a rotation of corn, rice, and two staple root crops, cassava and ñame (yam), of which he sells a part in the local market and keeps the rest to feed himself and his family. He farms all of the land by hand, using simple tools like machetes and hoes to clear brush off the steep slopes and loosen up the soil in pockets which he then plants by hand. Jorge is truly a small-scale farmer.

11/28/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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