44: #24 The role of agriculture in Colombia and other conflict regions (English Episode)
Agriculture is complex. Even in economically and politically stable countries such as Germany, there are many different players with different interests and points of view. In conflict regions, farmers are faced with a multitude of additional challenges.
Colombia, for example, is one such conflict region. In 2016, the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas signed a peace agreement. This ended more than 50 years of armed conflict in the country. But to guarantee peace in the long term, profound social and societal change are needed, and it won’t just happen overnight.
Today, the level of violence in the country has decreased, but in some parts it is still high, which endangers peace. This violence is financed primarily by the drug trade. This is one of the reasons why, after the peace agreement, alternatives to drug cultivation were supposed to be created, providing a legal source of income for farmers in rural parts of the country. But Colombia remains the world’s largest cocaine producer.
In this podcast episode, we talk about the conditions under which agriculture can work there at all, when the main crop of many farmers is coca plants (i.e. plants from which cocaine is later produced), what part agriculture plays in peace, what challenges but also opportunities the more difficult conditions in the country offer and what we can learn from these regions for other conflict regions in the world.
Our guest is Dr. Stefan Sieber, Agricultural Engineer from the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF).
Learn more Stefan’s work here:
For feedback and suggestions write us at querfeldein(at)zalf.de
For this episode we used the sound „Rain Sound and Rainforest.mp3“ by INNORECORDS, found on www.freesound.org (unchanged).
Cover image: © Laura Rheinfels