Nestle and USAID Partner to Provide Training and Support for Young Agricultural Entrepreneurs in Colombia
USAID Colombia recently partnered with Nestle Colombia and Fundación ACDI/VOCA earlier this month to support young entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector in Florencia, the capital of the department of Caquetá and the largest city in the Colombian Amazon.
Program participants received technical assistance on methods to strengthen agricultural production processes, organizational management, and economic empowerment.
The event, which gathered 10 local entrepreneurs on May 3, is a continuation of the joint program for Resilient Youth and Agro-entrepreneurship (Agroemprendimiento y Jóvenes Resilientes) launched last year to provide training and better access to economic opportunities for Colombians between the ages of 10 and 28 across 30 municipalities in the country.
Carlos Barragán, director of corporate affairs at Nestlé Colombia, hopes that more multinationals follow this lead and continue to support the nation’s rural communities. “We want our company to inspire others in the private sector to support young people,” said Barragán. “Young people are the present, and opportunities must be given now.”
According to program officilas, in Colombia, 25% of rural people who are 28 years old and under began working at a very early age and continue to have fewer educational opportunities, employment options, and access to public services compared to their counterparts who live in cities.
“Through these strategic alliances, we are linking the private sector to generate opportunities for rural youth, who are the ones who have been most affected by the conflict and inequality,” said Alejandro Feferbaum of USAID’s Resilient Youth Program.
Similar events have been held in Bojayá (Chocó), Balsillas (Caquetá) and Vista Hermosa (Meta).
- In Bojayá, on the banks of the Atrato River, 20 young indigenous and Afro-descendants gave life to “Platanitos de Bojayá,” a venture that transforms bananas into snacks and leads them to dream of a better future.
- In Balsillas, in a village that is part of the first Campesino Reserve Zone created in Colombia, 15 people formed a collective that provides agricultural services to local producers and five Hass avocado and granadilla producers worked to improve their product quality to enable more exports.
- In Vista Hermosa, 15 people interested in working in their own coffee shops were trained in coffee roasting, preparation, and cupping.