Encouragement and Support see Farmers in Colombia Through Challenges

Encouragement and Support see Farmers in Colombia Through Challenges

Despite many challenges in the last year, including aerial fumigation by high-altitude government planes that did not discriminate between coca and other crops, FRB’s Colombia-Chocó program continues to support smallholder farmers in growing cacao (cocoa) and other crops for home consumption and income. The local partner and participant farmers work at establishing socioeconomic stability, productive development, employment generation, and improving the quality of life for economically marginalized and socially vulnerable families through sustainable agriculture development and local governance activities. A recent report from the local partner states:

“The capacity-building of farmers and communities on themes related to agro-ecology has been a total success. Agricultural communities have seen this training as original and inspiring. And the planting of cacao in nurseries has had a success rate of 80%.

“We are concentrating on accompanying and encouraging the current program farmers in their efforts. With the help of subsidies from FRB they are cleaning and fertilizing their crops so we can ensure that all of those already involved in cacao production will have stability and successful end products. Once these plants and crops are stable, free from most risks, we will continue with the accelerated delivery of more plants to new beneficiaries.

“Generally, we visit the cultivation areas once a month, spending several days talking to farmers individually. This has been a big motivation for the participants. They feel very supported, and encouraged in spite of challenges caused by events out of their control.

“The work and results of a farmer named Nubia María has really caught our attention. This farmer has been able to perform her work in a very wise way that has led to a significant profit. She cleaned and prepared various areas of her land very carefully before planting her rice and intercropping her cacao and plantain. The crops take different lengths of time to grow and are harvested separately. By the time she was harvesting her rice, the plantain had grown high enough to shade her cacao plants. While she waits for her cacao to mature, she can sustain herself and her family with the plantain harvest. She is blessed with some of the most fertile land in Choco where, without using fertilizer, the land can produce several crops at the same time.

“We always learn a lot when working with people from rural areas. They teach us about their affection and love, faith, sincerity, humility, patience and, above all else, their hope that someday we will all see and experience a better world.”

Colombia Chocó encompasses 16 communities, 240 households and 1200 individuals

08/20/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment