FNC and USAID pledge to work together in Colombia

The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have pledged to work together in Colombia's post-peace agreement phase.  The parties signed a letter of intent during the Coffee and Peace event, hosted by the Embassy of Colombia in Washington DC, before representatives of the Colombian Government, the FNC, USAID and the Woodrow Wilson Center. Juan C. Pinzón, Ambassador of Colombia to the United States, analysed and reviewed the developments of the peace process between the Colombian state and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). Christopher Edwards, USAID's Director for South America, gave an overview of the projects developed by the agency. He also discussed the prospects of support to Colombia after the final peace agreement is signed and the possibilities of strengthening the relationship between USAID and the FNC. The FNC provided a detailed analysis of the structure of Colombia's coffee industry and of its importance for the rural social fabric. Subsequently, it presented the mechanisms it will implement to support coffee growers in the post-agreement phase. The FNC's social investment seeks to increase the productivity and profitability of coffee growing and to encourage crop diversification with high-demand products such as cacao. Cynthia Aronson, Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Latin American Program, led a bipartisan panel of US Senate advisors. The panel discussed Washington's views on the Colombian peace process and on the US450 million requested for approval by President Barack Obama for the 'Peace Colombia' program. The event concluded with a tasting of coffees from Antioquia, Caquetá, Cesar, Guajira, Norte de Santander and Nariño. Coffee producers shared their experiences and expectations regarding the culmination of armed conflict in Colombia and their views on the coffee industry in general.

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