Sustainable development for vulnerable families in rural Colombia
SV Värmland runs several small projects with local farmers in Colombia and our vision is to create sustainable development for vulnerable families in rural areas. The business focuses on increased knowledge about coffee, cocoa, fruit and vegetable cultivation and common solutions for both operation and sales. In order to sell their products, larger volumes are needed and in order to grow larger volumes, farmers need to become better at cooperating with each other. SV's projects work to increase knowledge of common solutions and support for building networks.
Through education, we want to strengthen associations so that they can serve as tools to improve the families' finances.
Life in Colombia has been marked by civil war and despite the ongoing peace process, it is still troubled in many parts of the country. During the past year, a large number of social leaders have been murdered. It is local association leaders who work for democracy and better living conditions for the local population, as opposed to various armed drug cartels' control of labor, which is exposed to threats and violence. Therefore, efforts are needed to prevent violence, reduce poverty and increase the quality of life of the inhabitants.
Arley Caquimbo, 41, is the leader of the cooperation project between SV Värmland and the 4 farmers' associations of Neiva and Baraya. He holds the position as legal representative of Agromezon and Arley holds the position as treasurer in the Corporación Integral del Rio Ceibas.
Arley's key words, when he thinks about his positions in the associations, are responsibility, honesty, sincerity and it is important to act respectful and supportive. He says:
"I like community work, I help to manage supports for families in need and I love working for the environment."
What we do
SV collaborates with Grupo Asociativo Alto Troja, Agromezon, Asprocaeco and AgroArizona in the municipalities of Neiva and Baraya, as well as APCAP, the Asociación de productores y comercializadores agropecuarios in the municipality of Palestine, all of which operate in the Huila region of southern Colombia.
SV Värmland also collaborates with the Corporación de Servicios Integrales Las Ceibas - Corpointegral Ceibas. This organization consists of 11 small farmer organizations, of which Agromezon and Asprocaeco are included. Corpointegral Ceibas offers services in agricultural production, transport, sustainable tourism, sustainable management of natural resources such as water remediation and tree planting and processing of agricultural products.
Training in leadership
We carry out an educational investment in four thematic areas and exercise in leadership is an important part of the whole:
Human rights, democracy and equality.
Production and marketing issues as well as certification.
Food safety, nutrition and how it can improve health.
Organization - to strengthen the associations and strengthen cooperation in the villages, both socially and economically.
We work for the whole peasant family to participate in the education, not only the men but also women and children. Through education, we want to strengthen associations so that they can serve as tools to improve the families' finances.
We present different ways for families to increase their production. For example, we now introduce the idea of tree farming, which means that a row of trees is planted between each cultivation row. These rows of trees hold the soil together better and make it easier to avoid the crops being washed away by the rain. Cultivating several different plant species in the same place in this way also reduces the risk of disease.
The forested area in Colombia is greatly diminishing, which is worrying for the climate as the forest is needed to absorb carbon dioxide that prevents global warming. Together with the associations APROFRUSA and Grupo Asociativo Alto Troja, Agromezon, Asprocaeco and AgroArizona in the municipalities of Neiva and Baraya, as well as APCAP, the Asociación de productores y comercializadores agropecuarios in the municipality of Palestine, we therefore plant trees in the SV forest in Colombia. Read more about the SV forest here.