Page 19 - Corporate Responsibility Report 2018
P. 19

   Supporting the Peace Process
At the same time that Gran Tierra is helping local farmers, the company is supporting the government’s peace process in towns and villages by creating opportunities for demobilized former guerrillas to earn money as they begin to establish productive lives within mainstream Colombian society. One way is by supporting the production
of cocoa saplings for area farmers who are transitioning to legal crops instead of illegal coca.
Local farmers, including ex- combatants, and representatives from the national cocoa federation, FEDECACAO gathered in Puerto Asís to share perspectives on the cocoa cultivation program supported by Gran Tierra.
Gran Tierra built four irrigated nurseries for the production of cocoa plants in Puerto Asís in Putumayo and La Uribe in Meta. Ex-guerrillas are trained to ensure they have technical proficiency working with this new crop. The main role of each nursery is to be a fixed asset that can produce thousands of plants each year, including as many as 160,000 young plantlets. The plants are then cultivated, fortified and delivered to area farmers participating in the program. Technical support and additional training are provided by FEDECACAO, the national association for the cocoa industry.
“We were sceptical in the beginning, but GTE has remained present, supportive and fulfilled its commitments 100%. We now have fantastic infrastructure to implement the program as well as ongoing technical support and materials, so the program has been a success so far.” – Jesus Antonio Martinez, Representative of Agropal, an agricultural community association
“I was a victim of the conflict and was displaced from location to location without finding a shelter. This program has really changed my situation. This is a very good project because for many people who have grown illegal crops, this is a legal crop that can provide a good alternative.” – Hilario Torres, Farmer, Puerto Asís
“From the beginning of this cocoa project the communities have been very satisfied. So far, where we have planted has worked very well. We feel as though we have received very good support from the UN, FEDECACAO and Gran Tierra.” – farmer and ex-combatant
Economic Development 17

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