LWR has worked in Colombia since the late 1990s to advance rural development in communities vulnerable to forced displacement as a result of Colombia’s conflict, and in rural communities undertaking voluntary returns or initiating resettlement. LWR is committed to advancing dignified, safe and sustainable rural returns and relocation for Colombia’s internally displaced populations. To achieve this, LWR works primarily with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), farming communities, Afro-Colombian community councils and indigenous governments to implement projects that strengthen the social fabric of communities weakened by violence, stimulate agriculture production for increased food security and incomes and improve water systems. While LWR primarily works on the Caribbean Coast, including Montes de María and the Sierra Nevada, the organization carries out targeted projects throughout the country. LWR’s development interventions in Colombia contribute to increased trust, dialogue and solidarity in communities overcoming the effects of violence and poverty.
Increasing Production and Creating Sustainable Local Economies
LWR accompanies internally displaced communities returning to and resettling on rural lands to recuperate and increase their agriculture production base. LWR’s programs enable communities to invest in agriculture systems, benefit from increased earnings and food security, and develop or recuperate ties to rural lands to make them less vulnerable to future displacements. The organization primarily offers support for agricultural technical assistance; the purchase of seeds; and the processing and commercialization of conventional, organic and specialty food products. LWR engages in detailed agriculture planning with communities, supporting the design of investments in business initiatives based on traditional and high-value crops grown for regional markets. LWR supports the sale of specialty agriculture products on national and international markets, in some cases. LWR strengthens producer organizations to create sustainable entities capable of scaling up investments and extending benefits, including increased earnings, to a greater number of small-scale farmers and their families.
To help communities achieve greater food security, LWR invests in poultry and aquaculture projects, in addition to basic food crops such as yam, cassava, beans and corn. These investments are accompanied by technical assistance, trainings to improve nutrition, investments in basic farming infrastructure and support to secure both individual and collective land titles that will allow for long-term investments in agriculture production and food security.