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The agro-food challenge for Orinoquia

reto agroalimentario800x600Villavicencio, Meta, February 27, 2014. “Orinoquia, the agro-food potential for Colombia: Challenges and opportunities,” were the thematic axes defined to contribute to the orientation fnesessary action to take responsible advantage of the regional wealth. Feria Expomalokas 2014 celebrated in Pueblito Llanero in Villavicencio with the broad participation of public insititutions, private companies and civil society.

Expomalokas 2014 provided the ideal scenario to analyze and identify the alternatives geared towards the usability of the region’s recognized productive potential considered the last agricultural frontier in Colombia.

During the workshop “Policies for the strengthening of the agro-food potential of the Orinoquia,” the Minister of Agriculture, Rubén Darío Lizarralde, affirmed that the approved budget for Colombian agro for the previous year was an unpresedented seven billion pesos in subsidies, and he assured that the agricultural and livestock census is fundamental in terms of being able to push efficient projects for the Colombian countryside. He pointed out three fundamental aspects: productivity, competititivity, and food security.

Lizarralde, affirmed that land use planning is fundamental to productive and competitive development, and emphasized the importance of applied technology and biotechnology to take advantage of harvests. “Research and development are going to change the trend of precarious development.”

For his part, the Governor of the Meta department, Alán Jara, affirmed, “Whatever is being done for the Llanos, for Orinoquia, is being done for the country” and he invited all the actors who work for the region to unite and work in favor of agriculture, the countryside, and its inhabitants.

During the workshop, the participants also learned about the Brazilian policy for agricultural and livestock related research, technology transfer and communication geared towards food security and family agriculture, the EMBRAPA case, and the great advances made thanks to the implementation of new technologies and inputs for the countryside.

Over the course of five days, more than 35 thousand participants had the opportunity to take part in academic and farming events, work activities of the Llanos, coleos, horse shows, bullfighting, folklore studies, and a commercial showcase.