Colombian government agrees with cattle ranchers to purchase three million hectares of land to be handed over to farmers

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has reached an agreement with the Colombian Federation of Cattle Ranchers (FEDEGÁN) that will allow the purchase of three million hectares of fertile land to be given to farmers.

Petro has emphasized that it means a “historic pact” that will allow the execution of an agrarian reform. “It is the free decision of land holders, dedicated to extensive cattle ranching, to sell a part of fertile land,” he has pointed out.

This agreement is the basis to start a joint work between FEDEGÁN and the Ministry of Agriculture in which “undoubtedly the most difficult thing is to get the money to acquire land at a rate of about 500,000 hectares per year”.

Petro has explained that it is not a matter of handing over land, but rather that this land be accompanied by the indispensable institutional base to produce. “That land must have credit, it must have technological transfers, it must have marketing mechanisms for its products, it must have a process of regional associativity that allows us to leap towards agro-industry,” he said.

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Thus, he stressed that “three million hectares more of production, mainly of food, would be a real agrarian revolution in Colombia”.

The agreement is signed by the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of the Interior and the High Commissioner for Peace, on the one hand, and by FEDEGÁN on the other.

The agreement establishes that the three million hectares of land must be accredited as private property in accordance with the law, have no ongoing agrarian processes or protection measures, and comply with environmental and agrarian provisions.

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Additionally, the plots must be fiscally sanitized and with possession in the hands of their owners. The National Government will evaluate the productivity capacity of the land offered and its location will be specified. The Instituto Geográfico Agustín Codazzi (IGAC) will determine minimum and maximum prices for each of the offers at market price.

For its part, the Government will assume the cost generated by materializing the respective legal business. Payment will be made with public debt bonds or another form of payment to be determined at a later date.

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