|Colombia: Improving the Economic Performance of Agriculture Co-operatives (IMPACT)
This food security project is helping farmer associations in Colombia become registered as legal co-operatives, providing farmer groups with technical, management and marketing training, and facilitating commercial trade among co-operatives. The project is supporting and improving the ability of rural co-ops to manage productivity and growth, to expand into regional, national and international markets, and to access the financing necessary to allow this to occur.
The initiative will support sustainable, private-sector driven business activities of co-operatives and associations of producers in 11 departments of Colombia: Antioquia, Tolima, Boyacá, Cundinamarca, Huila, Meta, Valle, Nariño and the Eje Cafetero (Quindio, Risaralda and Caldas). Working in partnership with Colombia's leading co-operatives as well as the Government of Colombia, CCA and Gestando will support building co-op capacity to compete in domestic and export markets.
By the end of the project it is anticipated that 66 producer organizations will be financially sustainable, with expanded sales of their products within their municipalities.
Rural co-operatives are a key part of the Colombian government's strategy to build peace in communities affected by the armed conflict that was a reality in Colombia for over 50 years. While rural communities have made the transition to producing legal crops such as cacao, coffee, fruits and vegetables, farmers lack the methods and means to compete successfully in the marketplace. The government has encouraged the formation of associations to help farmers access needed services. CCA has been transforming these associations into registered, member owned and managed co-operative enterprises with its partner GESTANDO, the business development arm of Colombia's co-operative sector.
See photos of the project launch in Colombia with the Governor General.
Read about the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada's Minister of International Development and la Francophonie visit to Colombia.