Colombia and Venezuela are developing a joint plan to help coffee cultivators on both sides of the border affected by the Colombian conflict the Colombian government announced Monday.
The Binational Plan for the Perija Mountain Range will help coffee growers re-establish production in the Colombian departments of Cesar and La Guajira and in the Venezuelan state of Zulia where the cultivation of the crop has been adversely affected by the Colombian conflict.
The plan, which will be headed by the Foreign Ministry’s Border Prosperity Plan and the National Federation of Coffee Growers, also aims to develop projects for better food security, housing improvements, educational infrastructure, energy infrastructure, and internet access.
On the Colombian side, it is hoped that the scheme will ultimately benefit 1740 coffee cultivators in an area of 17,000 acres.
Colombian and Venezuelan government officials carried out a field visit to the region on Tuesday reported El Espectador. Officials from both countries will meet again in Caracas in the next few days to define the basis of the plan.
The proposal will then be submitted to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at a meeting to take place on April 1.
The plan was presented by Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin and her Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro in the context of the work of the Commission for Social Investment in the Frontier Areas.
This particular commission was created on August 10 during a summit between President Santos and President Chavez which marked the renewal of diplomatic relations between the neighboring countries after a tense period under the former administration of President Alvaro Uribe.