The Government and the Colombian Cattle Ranchers Federation (Fedegán) have presented the Mission for Sustainable Livestock Farming for agrarian reform in Colombia.
The Minister of Agriculture, Jhénifer Mojica, and the President of the Colombian Cattle Ranchers Federation (Fedegán), José Félix Lafaurie, presented the Sustainable Livestock Farming program within the framework of the agrarian reform proposed by the government.
The transformation of the sector is one of the key programs of President Gustavo Petro’s administration. Its main achievement aims to have an impact on 2.8 million hectares, with 1.4 million of them being purchased and the other 1.4 million being converted into sustainable livestock farming.
Invitation to large landowners
The presentation took place at AgroExpo 2023, in Corferias, and also served as an invitation from the minister to the large landowners in the country. “We will buy approximately half of your land. With that money, based on commercial appraisals, you can invest in the surplus land for sustainable livestock arrangements,” Mojica stated.
Land acquisition process progresses
The land acquisition process is moving forward, albeit slowly. This has been confirmed by Fedegán. According to its president, “we can have less land and produce more, with higher return rates.” However, Lafaurie expressed hope for an acceleration in the land acquisition process.
To date, the government has only acquired 28,900 hectares, of which 720 come from Fedegán members. The organization has offered a total of 242,000 hectares for sale. Lafaurie stated that the land can be sold at a good price, while still retaining a percentage available for grazing.
On the other hand, the Colombian government has agreed to purchase land offered by the Cattle Ranchers Federation in the Magdalena Medio and Caribbean regions. These acquisitions will be limited to the areas remaining on the map as underutilized usable land for agrarian reform.
Transformation hand in hand with cattle ranchers
The national government wants this process of change to be done in collaboration with cattle ranchers. “We cannot do it alone. We need the countryside to be productive and competitive,” emphasized Minister Mojica. The objective of this transformation, as stated by the government, is to make the country a agri-food powerhouse.
According to the ministry’s idea, which has the support of Fedegán, cattle ranchers will be the main beneficiaries. Those who have unproductive areas of land will gain a monetary benefit that they can use to improve marketing, obtain credit, etc., while still retaining the productive areas.
Currently, according to data from Fedegán itself, the livestock sector represents 1.3% of the GDP and creates 1.1 million direct jobs in Colombia.