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Colombia to invest $4.25 billion in purchasing land to support impoverished farmers in the country.

Colombia Invests $4.25 Billion to Support Farmers and Boost Peace Efforts

Colombia’s Ambitious Plan to Support Farmers and Promote Peace

The Colombian government, led by President Gustavo Petro, is committed to investing $4.25 billion in purchasing approximately 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) of land. This initiative aims to benefit poor farmers and displaced individuals, while also increasing agricultural output and fostering peace in the country.

A Historic Conflict Rooted in Land Rights

Colombia’s six-decade-long conflict, which has resulted in the loss of over 450,000 lives, originated from a struggle for land rights. It involved various groups, including rebel organizations, paramilitary factions, crime gangs, and the government. President Petro’s comprehensive plan seeks to address the underlying issues by providing land to those in need.

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A Vision for Land Redistribution

The National Land Agency, headed by Gerardo Vega, aims to allocate 1.5 million hectares to approximately 150,000 families, ensuring each family receives 10 hectares (24.7 acres). The government has allocated 18 trillion pesos over four years for land acquisition, with 100,000 hectares already distributed and a plan to expedite the process further.

Encouraging Agricultural Development

The new landowners, spread across Colombia’s diverse terrain, will be encouraged to cultivate crops such as rice, corn, fruit, and more. The government also plans to provide them with access to additional services, fostering an environment conducive to agricultural growth and economic development.

Challenges and Progress

While the land acquisition process continues, the government faces challenges in ensuring the properties are free from displaced claimants forced out by armed groups. The government’s efforts extend beyond purchasing land, as it also redistributes confiscated land from criminals and rebel groups. Moreover, it aims to formalize ownership for farmers who have cultivated the land for generations without formal deeds. Already, 1.3 million hectares have been formalized, and the government aims to redistribute a total of approximately 7 million hectares by the end of President Petro’s term.

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A Symbol of Peace

President Petro emphasizes that land is synonymous with peace. Through this extensive land redistribution program, Colombia takes a significant step towards healing the wounds of the past and building a more prosperous and equitable future for its citizens.

($1 = 4,230.61 Colombian pesos)

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