BOGOTA, Colombia — The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) joined efforts to promote marketing of specialty coffee, investment in production and transport infrastructure (tertiary roads), and strengthening of producer associations to improve conditions of targeted coffee growers and help advance peace.
This new joint work was formalized by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the FNC andFintrac Colombia, the implementing partner in the country of the USAID Producers to Market Alliance (PMA), a five-year program that seeks to increase competitiveness of rural producers so they can respond to new, growing market opportunities.
The main objective of the agreement is to work together for production, competitive and commercial strengthening of coffee production chains, with special emphasis on specialty coffee.
The MOU will help leverage the FNC’s efforts to improve productivity and sustainability of beneficiary coffee families, and it also contemplates supporting the formation of organizations and capacity building.
The MOU was signed by the FNC CEO, Roberto Vélez, and Dennis Lesnick, legal representative of Fintrac Colombia.
Joint work agenda
The new agreement is part of a strategy to align the USAID programs in Colombia and takes place within the framework of the more general MOU signed in September 2016 between the FNC and USAID, whose purpose is mutual cooperation to promote rural development in a post-conflict Colombia on agriculture, institutional and education issues.
It is also part of development ofajoint working agenda that includes holistic production projects, marketing, infrastructure, access to land, finance, and tourism.
This joint work agenda includes: 1)Alignmentbetween USAID programs in Colombia and the FNC’s, as well as with implementing partners of these programs;2)Working Groupswith those in charge of the USAID programs and with the different implementing partners (for example: Fintrac);and 3)Follow-upthrough an agenda of periodic reviews, progress, strategy adjustments and coordination at national and territorial levels.
In the particular case of the MOU with Fintrac as USAID implementing partner, a clear roadmap was drawn up that includes: signature of the MOU, definition of work fronts (production, infrastructure, commercial, financing), identification of areas (Caquetá, Meta, south of Bolívar, north of Antioquia,andCauca), information exchange with Departmental Committees, development of an Action Plan, monthly work groups, and general monitoring.
More about the PMA and USAID
The Producers to Market Alliance Program (PMA), funded by USAID, works to increase national and export sales (connecting producers to markets), increase production of value chains, and promote investments in associated infrastructure (including roads from the farm to the market).
The PMA gives priority to high-potential value chains, with emphasis (not exclusive) on cocoa, specialty coffee, natural latex, tropical fruits, vegetables and sustainable dairy production; itsupports rural producers and agribusiness in priority municipalities in Antioquia, Bolívar, Caquetá, Cauca, Córdoba, Huila, Meta, Nariño and Valle del Cauca, and can expand to other municipalities in these economic corridors based on specific market opportunities.
The ultimate goal of the PMA is to help strengthen and build sustainable and trade-oriented value chains that incorporate smallholder producers in an inclusive manner, offering them facilities to connect to markets through production infrastructure and connectivity of territories.
Among the USAID programs in Colombia,in addition to PMA, are the Natural Wealth Program, the Community Development and Licit Opportunities Program (CDLO), theLand and Rural Development Program (LRDP), and the Program of Alliances for Reconciliation (PAR).