Agricultural Support To Colombia

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) supplied a sugarcane packaging machine to the Cana Dulce Producer Association, which has more than 250 sugar cane producers in Cundinamarca, Colombia.

In the Cundinamarca Department of Colombia, a sugar cane packaging machine was supplied to the Caña Dulce Producer Association by TİKA in order to help the production process of more than 250 panel (sugar cane) in a traditional and small scale.

According to data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, there are about 23 countries producing panels in the world. Colombia is the second largest producer after India (55%), realizing 12% of the total production. Panela production is carried out in 357 of the 1,102 municipalities in Colombia by traditional means, with manual labor and non-mechanized processes.

Panel production in Colombia; following coffee production, it is the largest agricultural industry in the rural area and the second largest employment provider sector. The development of panela production is directly or indirectly affecting 350,000 people, including around 120,000 permanent jobs, including producers, workers, traders. Particularly in the Cundinamarca Department, a significant amount of the population living in agriculture is working in this area.

With the support of the equipment provided, the Cundinamarca Department directly contributed to the groups of internally displaced persons and groups of displaced communities.

Thanks to the packaging machine, the product, which is tried to be weighed by hand, is packed in series, sanitary and error-free.

The ceremony where the packaging machine was delivered to the Producer Association was attended by the Ambassador of Turkey in Colombia, Honorable Ms Ece Öztürk, the Secretary of Information and Communication Technologies (TIC) of Cundinamarca., Antonio Cortes Rey, and the beneficiary producers.

Ms. Ambassador Öztürk said the following during the delivery ceremony: “Food safety and natural product production is a very important issue all over the world. Colombia and our country are also natural product rich countries. People in Turkey demonstrates the importance of a healthy and natural diet. In this respect, panela is both symbolic for Colombia and a symbol of the friendship of our country and Colombia”.

The first 100 panels packaged with the supplied machine was designed with the special design of the farmer's association expressing its gratitude for the cooperation. Under the flags of our country and Colombia on the packages, this product, which is produced by the farmer families in Colombia, is sent to the Turkish people as an expression of our gratitude for the support of TİKA.

Farmer Javier Garcia thanked TIKA for support and said that the support given to the production of the panela was an important and symbolic product for Colombia. Garcia continued: “At the Miraflores farm in La Pena-Cundinamarca region, 12 families are living with panel production. Thanks to this support, which will have a direct impact on farmers' lives like us, not only panela manufacturers but also all local people who earn revenue from the panela will provide better opportunities for their children”

Farmer Clara Isabel Villa expressed her gratitude on the part of producers who would be very happy to support them, and to provide direct income growth through support.