For ten days in July in Bogotá, different exponents of the Colombian agricultural and livestock sector met in one of the country's largest fairs, namely Agroexpo 2017.
This fair brought together close to 570 exhibitors of this productive sector, at both national and international levels, with an exhibition of 2,700 breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and horses, as well as samples of fresh and processed products of the Colombian rural sector.
Starting with the first fair which was held in 1977, this event has been a meeting point for the countryside and the city, as well as the epicenter of development of the agricultural industry of the country.
For this edition of the Fair, Slow Food and its partners in Colombia, namely Fundación Acua and Corporación Coralina, were called to partake with the project presently being developed in Colombia called Slow Fish Caribbean, at a stand organized by the European Union, showcasing 21 rural development projects that currently receive funding from this international organization, our project among them.
The initiatives showcased there, depict the scope of international cooperation in Colombia in terms of rural development from a territorial approach, the sustainable use of biodiversity and the direct support to different productive initiatives of small and medium-sized producers in the country.
During the thirteen days of the fair, we were able to publicize the work of Slow Food in Colombia and our flagship project, Slow Fish Caribe that is being developed at the biosphere reserve Sea Flower, located in the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina on the Colombian Caribbean coast and which is intended to promote the sustainable use of coastal and marine resources and proposes the diversification of the productive activities of small fishermen and women that transform the coastal resources in order to mitigate the impact on some biodiversity products that are at risk of over-exploitation.
During the fair we also participated together with the Fundación Acua in stands dedicated to academic discussions, in particular in the forum on "Sustainable Rural Development in Marine and Coastal Areas".
There, together with other institutional and private initiatives, we elaborated on our work regarding territorial development, from the protection of biodiversity to the generation of opportunities derived from original products of those territories. We must highlight the presence in the community organizational project forum of the Asociación de Mangleros de la Bahía de Cispatá and the Asociación de Piangüeras - Pacífico that have been fighting for the protection of natural resources and making a sustainable use of the same, promoting initiatives such as rural community tourism, and the transformation and appreciation of local products.
Under the slogan "I believe in working the fields, I believe in peace" the European Union and all the organizations present there, ratified our commitment to rural development in Colombia and to the construction of a stable and lasting peace.
Liliana Marcela Vargas Vásquez