27 Apr 2017

The way of coffee for Colombian Normalisation

 

During the last decades, thousands deaths have compromised the economic and social development of Colombia as a results of fifty year civil war in the country and its isolated regions. Now on the way to stabilization. A mandatory step of this peace and stability road ahead is the support to a group of people who most suffered from armed conflict, farmers, many of whom for decades were forced to leave their lands, particularly those located in the rural remote mountain regions.

The lush region of Caquetá, for example, is a land of incredible agricultural possibilities that for many years saw more soldiers than farmers, almost inaccessible for years as one of the FARC's most militarily successful fronts. The peculiarity of Caquetá is its location: it is situated in a lower altitude than the rest of the country, where winds converge and thanks to the proximity to the jungle has a higher humidity. As the country works towards a long-lasting peace, local farmers can share their products, such as coffee with the rest of the world. “Jaime dedicates a lot of time to take care of the coffee. Coffee is, indeed, a grain which requires a lot of technique and care, it requires a lot of labour” said a local farmers. “It is a coffee from the Amazonian region, it is of high-quality, fragrant, aromatically balanced and fully washed arabica with candied fruity notes and fine acidity, while ensuring a sustainable production for better livelihoods of local rural farmers”.

However, Caquetá is not the only example of what coffee is doing for the normalisation of Colombia. The greater part of the employed in agriculture in Colombia is related to that bean and about the 95% of the families involved in the production of coffee operate on small plots of land, averaging five acres each. This is the peculiarity of Colombia and that’s why coffee is so important for the country.

Moreover, the Government well understand the importance of the coffee for the population and the opportunities it could generates. Through research, training and the empowerment of the farmers, the aim is to produce a higher quality coffee to allow farmers to sell it to a higher price, a great contribution to improve their quality of life.

According to the Colombian Coffee Commission, established in 2002 to suggests the reforms needed in the sector, much has been done because “before the coffee era, Colombia was atomized into regions and had not yet constituted a Nation”, but there is still much to do: coffee farming must be make still more profitable; a process of deregulation should start because “regulatory environment is anti-competitive and anti-innovation” and the price stabilisation must end. Caquetá show to Colombia that a sustainable and profitable production of coffee could be the way to develop and normalise rural areas, so peace will depend on the investment and promotion of agricultural development platforms that close the gaps between producers and markets.

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