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A boost to producer initiatives

In the Bolivian region of Cochabamba, there are many producers' associations, but they are often isolated and lack organisation and technical support to develop.

Some of them grow food using agro-ecological modes of production inherited from their ancestors, and could play a more important role in improving the food security of the area as well as safeguarding the environment.

AGRECOL in brief

Created in 2011, the Andes Foundation specialises in supporting agro-ecological and climate-resilient projects. It is active in poor and remote areas in the province of Cochabamba, which is affected by food insecurity. It aims to enable Farmers’ Organisations to self-manage, to improve their food production and to get access to markets.

In order to promote sustainable agricultural and rural development, AGRECOL carries out various activities:

  • Doing research, providing training and technical assistance in agroecology
  • Advocating for family agriculture to local authorities
  • Strengthening local initiatives and supporting rural and urban actors
  • Connecting producer organisations to local markets

AGRECOL not only aspires to food sovereignty and security for farmers and indigenous communities, but also to more respect for the environment.

AGRECOL & SOS FAIM

SOS Faim has been working with AGRECOL since 2014 to support four producer organisations in poor, remote and food-insecure areas in the province of Cochabamba.

These organisations are active growing cereals and pseudo-cereals (maize, wheat, quinoa, amaranth...), harvesting honey, breeding cattle, cultivating fruits and vegetables, etc.

They currently represent a total of around 800 producers, 30% of whom are women, but AGRECOL wants to involve more of them, while giving priority to women.

Encouraging results

In recent years, thanks to AGRECOL’s technical assistance, the four organisations have significantly improved their capacity to :

  • Manage and plan: development of strategic plans, production plans, business plans, administrative management tools, etc.
  • Transform: obtention of public funding for new infrastructures
  • Get acces to markets: development of three farmers’ markets, permission to deliver their products to public school feeding programmes (one of the organisations currently supplies products for school breakfasts, in connection with the municipality)
  • Connect: with other organisations on the territory
  • Consult: with local authorities

What prospects ?

Activities aiming to develop farmers’ organisations will include a leadership training programme that takes into account gender equity and the need for generational succession. This programme aims to enable consultation with the public authorities and to ensure that what has been achieved stays in place.

Finally, AGRECOL will focus on reaching out to consumers through communication and awareness-raising activities in agro-ecology and short circuits in the Cochabamba region.

More info on AGRECOL

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