06 July 2021

TİKA Supports Plantain Producers in Colombia

As part of the Support Program for Agricultural and Rural Development in South America carried out by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), a cold store was provided to the Filandia Plantain in the Colombian Quindio Department.

Thanks to the project carried out in cooperation with TİKA and the Governorship of Quindio, a cold room with a storage capacity of approximately 20 tons was provided, which allows members of the ASPROFIL Association of Filandia Municipality and the producers to extend and transform the storage duration of the plantain.

With the cold room, manufacturers will be able to market their products with high value added and improve their production. The economic revival in the region will be supported by packaging and protecting the product in suitable conditions and making the production process more profitable. Plantain production will directly and indirectly benefit more than 300 people.

ASPROFIL representative Cesar Augusto Lopez expressed his gratitude for the support received and said: “We are having trouble while selling plantain due to national strikes and pandemic. Thanks to this state-of-the-art cold room, we can process, recycle and store the plantain and thus sell the product to other cities and buyers across the country. In addition to being proud of having this equipment, we are very grateful to Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency Presidency for providing us with this equipment. This support created an area where 90 families producing plantains and various vegetables can safely store their products.”

Fanny Cadavid Romero, one of the project stakeholders and Quindio Coordinator of the National Education Institution (SENA), an organization that offers free vocational training to millions of Colombians, said: “We are producing large numbers of plantains, but in recent years we have been greatly affected by the local price, the pandemic, and the national strike. For this reason, most of the Filandia population emigrated to the United States and other countries. Our primary goal is to process plantain and reach new markets, and we, as SENA, will contribute to the development of the project carried out by TİKA, by providing vocational training in this field.”

Regarding the support, which has a significant economic and social impact on the entire municipality, Quindio Governor Roberto Jairo Jaramillo said: “This cold room guarantees that all farmers in Filandia will be able to protect their crops. We are glad, this project is a great investment made in cooperation with Turkey” he said.

Juan Fernando Giraldo and Ovidio Giraldo, one of the project beneficiaries, said: “We are plantain and coffee producers. This year has been difficult due to the pandemic, unemployment in the country and low plantain prices. We hope that we can improve our living and health conditions with the cold room provided to us by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, thank you very much.

Again, one of the project beneficiaries Francisco Emilio Aguirre said: “I am from here, Filandia. I was born and raised here, we would like to thank the Presidency of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency for providing us with this cold room, because we are all small manufacturers and while we were waiting to deliver our product to a wholesaler, we suffered a lot due to spoilage. We can bring our product and store it here. Also, prices have dropped a lot due to the pandemic and the truth is that we had nowhere to deliver our products; but now that the storage and processing activities can be done on-site, we won't be selling our product at a loss.”

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