Flagship programs for the Agroindustry development
The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are moving forward with different strategies to strengthen the sector and make advances with its internationalization.
Colombia exporta Agro: The aim of this initiative is to grow non-traditional agricultural exports by 13%, compared to results in 2018, reaching US $3 billion for 2022 while also betting on efficiency-seeking foreign investment in the farming and agribusiness sector. The program’s strategic vision is to consolidate an exportable offering that fulfils international health, safety, physical, nutritional, and organoleptic requirements. This is part of sustainable production, with quality and added-value certificates, where all of the aforementioned elements result in profitability for all links in the chain.
The main elements of the strategy are:
- Direct interventions to producer-exporters: Creation/strengthening of three government programs: export quality (an increase in properties and plants with international quality certifications), fábricas de internacionalización (technical assistance in internationalization for companies), and fábricas de productividad (technical assistance in productivity for secondary sector companies, so that they can develop more efficient processes and more sophisticated products to offer to international markets).
- Internationalization of agenda: Joint project with a group of exporters from each sub-sector to design and implement measures to strengthen the corresponding productive chains in pursuit of increasing, improving, and refining their exportable offerings. This will be done via exporters clubs and sub-sectoral trade groups.
- Coordinated interventions: Harmonious and coordinated work amongst different government institutions involved in the sector, seeking substantial improvements in the areas of safety, health, research, consolidation of best practices, information for the agro-export sector, trade facilitation, market intelligence, and commercial promotion.
Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development developed a set of strategies as part of the “Productividad + Rentabilidad = Competitividad” (“Productivity + Profitability = Competitiveness”) pillar. These actions promote productive transformation in agriculture, access to financial services that enable greater profitability, the adoption of sanitary protection and admissibility, and, lastly, agricultural extension. These strategies are as follows:
- Agricultural Production Regulation: The Agricultural, Fishing, and Aquaculture Production Regulation seeks to promote the focus on production in the main agricultural chains in areas with the best productive performance. With support from the UPRA (Rural Agricultural Planning Unit), 12 productive chains were successfully prioritized. Taking into account their potential for food security, international market opportunities, and import substitutions, these sectors are: cocoa, rice, plantation forests, cotton, Hass avocado, potato, corn, milk, aquaculture and fishing, onion bulbs, sugar cane, and meat.
- The “Coseche y venda a la fija” strategy is mainly aimed at contributing to reducing uncertainty and risks that characterize agricultural commercialization processes through advance sales from small and medium size rural producers to industry, large retail outlets, and commercialization platforms.
- A 360-degree agricultural funding and risk strategy, which enables farmers to access different financial mechanisms for total risk coverage such that entrepreneurial projects can be started in the countryside and can grow in a sustainable manner.
- Use of FTAs with the prioritization of three main lines of action: improvement of sanitary and phytosanitary status, sanitary diplomacy, and commercial defense.
Lastly, in accordance with the guidelines in Law 1876 of 2017, it was established that “the agricultural extension is a public, permanent, decentralized asset and service; and it involves ongoing comprehensive support in order to diagnose, update, train, render, assist, empower, and generate abilities amongst agricultural producers…” In this respect, working sessions have been carried out with the agricultural departments of regional governments to coordinate efforts and provide direction regarding the formulation of Departmental Agricultural Extension Plans that must be designed, harmonizing these with Departmental Development Plans, and Territorially Focused Development Programs.