The European Union has directed 70 million euro ($86 million) to Colombia’s Agriculture Ministry to improve the productivity and competitiveness of small-scale producers and to boost programs aimed at reducing regional inequalities in the countryside.
The money will be disbursed from January 2015 and last for five years, in what Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Aurelio Iragorri said was a vote of confidence in Colombia from the EU.
Colombia’s countryside has remained afflicted by hunger; in 2009 29% of Colombians were affected by extreme poverty, but in the countryside that figure rose to 40%.
EU Ambassador to Colombia Maria Van Gool said that the aid was designed to encourage and support the Colombian government’s existing policies on behalf of small-scale producers. Beneficiaries will be the “poorest and most vulnerable communities in the countryside” according to the EU.
A free trade agreement between the EU and Colombia became effective in August 2013, and Brussels last month reiterated its willingness to contribute financially to the implementation of any peace agreement arising from the Havana talks.
- Rural Poverty in Colombia (Rural Poverty Portal)
- Union Europea aporta 70 milliones de euros para transformacion del campo colombiano (Ministry of Agriculture)