Second National Meeting of RedBioCOL in Colombia

The second national meeting of RedBioCOL took place between 27th September and 1st October in Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia. The event comprised five main practical sessions with different aims and activities.

The first day focused on providing information and training for a demonstration project in the application of biomass energy technologies (biogas and gasificiation) in small and medium-sized coffee farms. This project is supported by SEPS. The session took place at a farm belonging to a member of the “Asociación de Productores de Puente Abadía” (one of the farmers’ associations involved in implementing the project).

The sessions on the second day were dedicated to the consolidation of the network. Through different group formats, the participants (more than 50) worked together to define specific objectives and activities related to RedBioCOL’s five main branches: communication, local promoters, solidarity economy, knowledge and wisdom, and involvement of youth.

Field visits were organised for the third day. Four different options offered the possibility to experience at first hand the achievements of some of the most active organisations working in the development and implementation of sustainable family farming systems in the Orinoco and Amazonian region of Colombia.

On day four, a forum on agroecological farming systems took place at the University of the “Llanos” (UniLlanos). The forum offered a platform where different stakeholders (e.g. experts, students, farmers and representatives of NGOs) presented their knowledge and experiences of applying agroecological principles in different regions of Colombia.

On the final day, the participants were given the opportunity to visit a farmers’ market (mercado campesino). This market is coordinated by the “Asociación de Mercados Campesinos del Meta” (AMCM), one of RedBioCOL’s members in the Meta region. The main aim is to offer small farmers in the region a direct commercial channel for the sale of their products; this should ensure the farmers receive a larger share of the sales revenue.

The national meeting provided fresh motivation for the further consolidation of RedBioCOL. It also acted as a platform for strengthening existing relationships and forging new ones, particularly between people and organisations from the Orinoco and Amazonia regions in Colombia.

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