Agro under Fico | THE VIEWER

“Provision of rural public goods, improvement of agricultural productivity and competitiveness, and social and productive organization” are Fico’s proposals for the agricultural sector. At first glance, these three strategic axes might seem like a “flag song”, but quite the contrary, they have a lot of substance. As the agricultural analyst Indalecio Dangond points out in a recent column in The viewer Regarding the first axis: “The delay in access roads (rail, river and road) to food production centers, such as tertiary roads, irrigation districts, digital connectivity, logistics centers for drying and storage and public services, It’s huge and you can’t keep putting it off. With 50% of the royalty resources, this problem is solved, which affects the competitiveness of the sector so much”. And although in this Government there have been advances in roads and other lines, one of the most important is the road that opens the pantry of four million hectares in eastern Colombia, which has been left for the end of the decade.

A second axis of the Fico program is agricultural productivity and competitiveness. With some exceptions, such as wheat, barley and hops, Colombia tends to be competitive in a large part of the agricultural products that make up the family basket. But to be competitive in an increasingly globalized world, free trade forces agricultural enterprises even more to reinvent themselves and apply the model of social, ecological and technological agriculture. To the traditional factors of production land, work and capital must be added the factors of technology and knowledge. In the different stages of agricultural production (land preparation, fertilization, planting, irrigation, pest control, harvesting, drying, storage, marketing and sale), and regardless of the size or ownership of the plot, it is essential to combine management with lowest possible cost of machinery, seeds, raw materials, labor, electricity, fuel, machinery and equipment repairs.

The third axis of Fico’s agricultural proposal is the social and productive management of the soil. Agricultural policies in Colombia have failed because almost all of them are focused on distributing land, and almost none on producing. Agricultural production, contrary to what the populist candidates promise, is not a matter of wanting, asking and obtaining. In the country, according to DANE, there are 40 million hectares with agricultural potential, of which only 7.6 are in production. For the “democratizers-distributors”, the challenge is not to put the 32.4 million hectares into production, but to distribute the 7.6 million that already produce. As reported in a previous article, “the progressive growth of food imports, a consequence of clumsy agricultural policies that mean that each year we produce a lower percentage of food than we consume, generates the impoverishment of rural areas and motivates migration. from the peasants to the cities, a situation that is aggravated by the barriers to accessing credit or technology”. The land is not eaten, and if it is not tilled, fertilized and watered, there will be no food. Without roads, access to credit, technology, machinery, seeds, manure or fertilizers, the country is not going to increase its agricultural production and we will continue without having the slightest chance of achieving food security.

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