Within the framework of the International Conference on oil palm, held by Fedepalma in the city of Cartagena, Luis Alberto Villegas Prado, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, expressed different overtones of the Development Plan for the agricultural sector and the agrarian form.
According to the official, regarding the Development Plan, it is expected to promote the country from agriculture, on the path towards total peace and maintain the Afro and indigenous communities, among others, as the basis of any of its proposals in order to achieve transformation in the sector.
Likewise, Villegas stated the responsibility that the agricultural sector has with the environment, in addition to the incentive so that agriculture can continue to exist.
On the other hand, inclusive value chains were mentioned, with the possibility that small producers insert themselves in them as a fundamental basis for the sustainability of agriculture. And it was pointed out to draw a roadmap for agriculture to understand what is happening.
In terms of economic management, the official assured that “we have an economic decision regarding the sector, this consists of the approval of an increase in the agricultural budget for 2023 in Colombia of 2.06 billion pesos, a growth of 98% with respect to what was initially budgeted, for a total of $4.09 billion of investment in the sector”.
This is why priority will be given to comprehensive rural reform, which “not only involves a land issue“, if it’s not the step towards closing the gaps that exist in urban societya and country, as a way to make Colombian agriculture competitive worldwide.
Faced with the agrarian and comprehensive rural reform, Vice Minister Villegas Prado assured that “this has already begun with the delivery of 11,260 land titles to beneficiaries that cover 681,378 hectares (ha9, knowing that oil palm has 597,000 ha in Colombia and is the second crop in the country”.
Similarly, regarding the land debate, it was estimated that of the 39.9 million hectares of constituted ethnic territories (34%), at least 85.3% belongs to indigenous reservations and 14.7% to groups of black communities.
Given this, the official assured that alternatives should be sought in terms of supplies: “We are working on the regulation of the supplies law that was approved by Congress at the beginning of 2022, which implies creating an agricultural supplies commission, with objectives for monitoring prices and policies to improve access to them. This is why the fund for access to agricultural inputs was created with a contribution of $80,000 million from the National Government. This fund is managing a credit of US$50 million to have a stock of US$70 million to create an incentive for small producers that counteracts the effect of the rise in the price of inputs.”.